Four Tops, Blind Boys Of Alabama Picked For Grammy Lifetime Achievement

Legendary acts including The Four Tops, Dean Martin and The Blind Boys of Alabama were announced as recipients of the Recording Academy’s 2009 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award slated to be handed out during the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. Slated for Feb. 7, the special ceremony will honor each recipients’ lasting contributions to the music industry. “Their outstanding accomplishments, legendary passion and artistry have positively affected our culture and will continue to influence and inspire generations to come,” said Recording Academy presidnet Neil Portnow. On the list of honorees in addition to Martin, who died in 1995: • Country Music Hall of Famer and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” sweetheart Brenda Lee, who has sold more than 90 million records since her career took off in the 1950s. • Sound-defining Motown hit makers the Four Tops. Abdul “Duke” Fakir became the group’s only surviving original member after frontman Levi Stubbs passed away in October. • The still-touring gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama, who were joined onstage by Prince during a show at Hollywood’s Knitting Factory in March. • 90-year-old jazz pianist and composer Hank Jones, who was awarded Congress’ National Medal of Arts earlier this year. • “Singing Cowboy” and radio, TV and film star Gene Autry, who died in 1998. • Folk singer-songwriter Tom Paxton, a member of the Bob Dylan-nurturing Greenwich Village music scene in the early ’60s, whose tunes have been recorded by Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Willy Nelson, Dolly Parton and many more. Source: 51st Annual Grammy Awards/E Online


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