Classics Du Jour


Talking Heads to Receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Talking Heads in 1978
Talking Heads perform in Toronto in 1978. CC BY SA 2.0. Credit: Jean-Luc Ourlin.

The Talking Heads are among six honorees who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2021. Other artists receiving the honors include Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lionel Hampton, Marilyn Horne, Salt-N-Pepa and Selena. The recipients of the Special Merit award will be recognized at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards on January 31. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, details about how the event will proceed are still unclear.

The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording. The honorees are determined by the Recording Academy’s National Board of Trustees.

“As we welcome the new class of Special Merit Award honorees, it gives us a chance to reward and recognize the influence they’ve had in the music community regardless of genre,” said Harvey Mason Jr., Interim President and CEO of the Recording Academy. “As a music creator and music lover, I am grateful that we are able to look back at our influences and see the impact that they have made on our community. In a year where music has helped keep us together, I look forward to honoring this iconic group of music creators.”

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David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth formed the Talking Heads in New York City in 1975. The group’s first gig was an opening slot for the Ramones at the legendary CBGB club in June of that year. They went on to help pioneer new wave music by blending elements of punk, rock, art pop, funk, and world music with avant-garde sensibilities. In 2002 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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