Yola, Rhiannon Giddens, and Laurie Anderson took part in Great Performances: Grammy Salute to Music Legends, an awards ceremony and tribute concert to present the Recording Academy's Special Merit Awards on PBS. Yola performs "Up Above My Head" by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, to whom Rhiannon Giddens presents a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award. Laurie Anderson performs "Gee-Whiz," her collaboration with Philip Glass, and presents him with the Trustees Award. You can watch it all here.
Yola, Rhiannon Giddens, and Laurie Anderson all took part in Great Performances: Grammy Salute to Music Legends, an awards ceremony and tribute concert in which the Recording Academy presented its 2020 Special Merit Awards recipients on PBS last Friday. You can watch the event below.
At just under twenty-eight minutes into the show, Yola and her band perform Sister Rosetta Tharpe's "Up Above My Head" from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium; Rhiannon Giddens, who had recorded that song for her 2015 debut solo album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, then presents Tharpe with a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award.
At just under fifty-six minutes in, Philip Glass is honored with the Trustees Award. To mark the occasion, Laurie Anderson offers her own appreciation and performs "Gee-Whiz," which Anderson and Glass wrote and performed together in honor of La MaMa founder Ellen Stewart last fall.
Also among the 2020 honorees are Chicago, Roberta Flack, Isaac Hayes, Iggy Pop, John Prine, and Public Enemy. Ken Ehrlich and Frank Walker also receive Trustees Award honors, and George Augspurger is recognized with the Technical Grammy Award. Mickey Smith Jr. also accepts the Music Educator Award as this year’s recipient.
This is the fifth year the Recording Academy has celebrated the Special Merit Awards with a stand-alone TV event and musical tribute, but the first year that it has been produced without an audience and in different locations due to COVID-19’s impact on live events. In addition to the tribute concert, the special features archival video segments celebrating each of the honorees’ contributions to the music industry and its cultural heritage.