Bonnie Raitt to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award From Recording Academy

on December 9, 2021 No comments
by Paul Grein

She will join the rest of the 2021 Special Merit Award recipients, which were announced nearly a year ago.

The 72-year-old Raitt just finished her 21st album Just Like That…, 10 tracks, featuring four songs penned by the artist. Raitt is also set to hit the road for her 2022 in April with Lucinda Williams and Mavis Staples.

Raitt continues to draw on the range of influences that have shaped her legendary career, while creating something that speaks to the circumstances and challenges of these unprecedented times. ‘Just Like That…,’ a ten song album with four penned by Raitt, is set for release in April, preceded by a new single in January.

“I’m really aware of how lucky we were to be able to safely come together and record this album last summer,” said Raitt. “After this particularly tough time, we can’t wait to get back on the road to do what we love and have some great new songs to play.

Bonnie Raitt will join the Recording Academy’s 2021 class of special merit award recipients, first announced in December 2020, when the awards are belatedly presented in a ceremony at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles on Jan. 30, 2022, the night before the 64th annual Grammy Awards.

The special merit awards include lifetime achievement awards (for performers), trustees awards (for non-performers), the technical Grammy award and the music educator award.

Raitt was approached about a lifetime achievement award last year, but declined because of COVID-19 concerns. The rest of the class, which was announced on Dec. 22, 2020, consists of lifetime achievement award recipients Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lionel Hampton, Marilyn Horne, Salt-N-Pepa, Selena and Talking Heads; trustees award recipients Ed Cherney, Benny Golson and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds; and technical Grammy award recipient Daniel Weiss.

What Time & How To Watch The 2022 GRAMMYs Awards Show

Because of the pandemic, the 2021 special merit award honorees were unable to attend the 63rd annual Grammy Awards. They were briefly acknowledged during the telecast.

“We are so excited to celebrate the 2021 honorees at the 64th Grammys to ensure they get the celebration they deserve,” said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “With the strict COVID protocols in place for the 63rd show, we were not able to properly and fairly honor our special merit award honorees as we have done in past years. Before we induct a new class, we must come together to recognize this group of iconic creators who have paved the way not only in music, but also within our culture.”

The Recording Academy also announced that the special merit awards presentations will return to the Wilshire Ebell, where it was held for many years through 2015. From 2016-20, the presentations were made at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, the site of the Oscars, for a show that was taped for PBS’ Great Performances franchise.

The Wilshire Ebell event was long considered one of the highlights of Grammy Week. The TV taping that replaced it lacked the warm, intimate vibe, but allowed music fans around the country to see it.

The Wilshire Ebell event also includes the 64th annual Grammy nominees reception. All nominees are invited, though not all attend — or the fire marshal would have a very busy night. At the event, nominees can pick up medallions to mark their nomination, so they have something tangible to show for their nomination – win or lose the following night.

David Byrne of Talking Heads is also a Grammy nominee this year for best music film for David Byrne’s American Utopia, which he produced with Spike Lee. So he can pick up a lifetime achievement award and a nominees medallion on the same night — a neat trick.

Raitt is a 10-time Grammy winner, including album of the year for Nick of Time at the 32nd annual Grammy Awards in February 1990. Raitt’s surprise album of the year victory, her performance that night of “Thing Called Love” and the grace she showed in her multiple acceptance speeches made her a star overnight — after nearly 20 years in the business. Nick of Time logged three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 that April.

Raitt, the daughter of Broadway great John Raitt, was MusiCares’ Person of the Year in 1992. Bonnie Raitt is the 10th person to receive all three of these top honors from the Recording Academy – album of the year, a lifetime achievement award and being named the MusiCares person of the year. She follows Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Carole King, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. (Some fine print: Jones received the trustees award, which is the equivalent of a lifetime achievement award for non-performers. Simon won a lifetime achievement award as half of Simon & Garfunkel. McCartney won album of the year as part of The Beatles. Mitchell won album of the year as a featured artist on Herbie Hancock’s tribute, River: The Joni Letters.)

The lifetime achievement award celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording, while the trustees award honors such contributions in areas other than performance. The technical Grammy award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording industry.

Technical Grammy award recipients are voted on by the Producers & Engineers Wing’s advisory council and chapter committees, and are ratified by the board of trustees. The trustees also ratify the lifetime achievement award and trustees award recipients.

The recipient of the 2021 music educator award, presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Museum, will also be honored at this event. The recipient has not yet been named.

Source: © Copyright Billboard
More info: Recording Academy
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Bonnie Raitt honours songwriter Shirley Eikhard for ‘Something to Talk About’

on October 6, 2020 No comments
The Morning Show

Shirley Eikhard joins singer Bonnie Raitt and reveals the true story behind her hit song ‘Something to Talk About’ on The Morning Show.


Global News – The Morning Show with Jeff McArthur and Carolyn MacKenzie – October 6 2020

“I got home and there was this thing on my machine. There was Bonnie…I was numb.”

Shirley Eikhard

Shirley Eikhard wrote the blues-rock mega-hit “Something to Talk About” in Nashville in the 1980s, but she and the song waited until 1992 for recognition in the form of a major Grammy award.

Eikhard had been searching for a full seven years for the right artist to record Something to Talk About. She had offered the song to Anne Murray and other artists, all of whom expressed interest but ultimately did not record it. Eikhard had put the song on the back burner, but was still hopeful she could find someone to record it.

Then, Eikhard received a surprise phone message one night from the American blues singer and guitarist Bonnie Raitt, replaying the new recording of Something to Talk About that Raitt had just finished. Recalled Eikhard, “I got home and there was this thing on my machine. There was Bonnie…I was numb.”

Raitt had discovered the song on a demo tape that Eikhard had sent her. Raitt later told the Hamilton “Spectator” newspaper that “All four of the songs just knocked me out….I loved her voice and I thought it was so far and above anybody else’s tape.”

Raitt’s recording of Eikhard’s composition proved a spectacular success. The single, off Raitt’s “Luck of the Draw” album, peaked on Billboard’s Hot 100 and adult contemporary charts at No. 5 in October 1991, and at No. 8 on Cashbox. It placed even higher in Canada, at No. 3 on the RPM Top 100 chart and No. 4 adult contemporary, and made the top 20 on RPM’s 1991 year-end chart.

So happy to reunite with my friend and great singer/songwriter Shirley Eikhard, who joined me onstage in our London, Ontario show the other night on her song, “Something to Talk About.” The crowd loved honoring one of their own and so did we! Every audience across our Canadian tour has been incredible. We are so blessed! – June 3, 2017

Something to Talk About then netted Raitt the industry’s coveted Grammy award for best female pop vocal performance, and drove the “Luck of the Draw” album to win the best solo rock vocal performance Grammy, with multi-platinum sales in Canada and the U.S.

At home in Canada, Something to Talk About also earned Eikhard a Juno nomination as songwriter of the year, and later SOCAN Classics and BMI awards for its status as a radio favourite.

The song has been a favourite of “American Idol” contestants, and was chosen by industry peers for the Songs of the Century listing. It has been performed by Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, David Clayton-Thomas, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Eikhard sang it as the theme song for CBS’s “Women of the House.”

Eikhard told “RPM Weekly” magazine that to sell a song, a songwriter must “…believe in yourself, and believe that sooner or later you’ll find a home for any given song. Like Something to Talk About, for instance, that song sat around for seven years before it actually got cut…Finally Bonnie was the one who went ‘Yes, I love this, I’m going to do this.’ So there is proof positive that if you really believe in the tune, never give up.”

Shirley Eikhard, originally from Sackville, New Brunswick, earned Juno awards in 1973 and 1974 for best country female artist, and has had numerous country and pop hits, including You’re My Weakness and Smilin’ Wine. Her songs have been recorded by Cher, Anne Murray, Chet Atkins, Ginette Reno, Alannah Myles, and Rita Coolidge. Eikhard has racked up seven BMI awards.


Source: © Copyright Global News – The Morning Show and Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and FYI Music News and CMRRA But wait, there's more!

Americana Awards 2019: Brandi Carlile, John Prine win big at the Ryman

on September 12, 2019 No comments
Matthew Leimkuehler

It’s Brandi Carlile’s world. We’re all just livin’ in it. 

The Highwomen-singing, Tanya Tucker-producing, ovation-earning songwriter brought home Artist of the Year at the 18th annual Americana Honors & Awards ceremony Wednesday night.

Carlile led an all-women Artist of the Year field that featured prolific old-time player Rhiannon Giddens, country success Kacey Musgraves and soul legend Mavis Staples.  

A four-time nominee, it marks Carlile’s first Americana Award. 

“I just wanna take a minute and say that Rhiannon Giddens is one of the most important artists in our genre,” Carlile said. “I wanna say that Kacey Musgraves did something new and special and that’s really hard, to do something new anymore. I wanna say that Mavis Staples is not the artist of the year. She is the artist of a lifetime.” 

“Mavis took a DNA test, turns out she’s 100% that legend.”


Beloved songwriter John Prine received Album of the Year for his prolific 2018 release, “The Tree of Forgiveness.”

Actor and Americana appreciator John C. Reilly presented Prine with Album of the Year, the night’s final award. 

“I guess you could say this is my album of the year for about a year-and-a-half now,” Prine quipped. “We had a great time making the record.” 

Prine earned two total awards Wednesday night, also accepting Song of the Year for his 2018 number “Summer’s End.” It’s the sixth Americana Honor received by the consummate songwriter since 2003.

The roughly four-hour show thrived on unforgettable moments for fans of the genre’s faithful songsmiths: A Joe Henry and Rodney Crowell tribute to five decades of Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” album; pensive newcomer J.S. Ondara, performing “American Dream” with genre staple Andrew Bird; 2019 Emerging Act of the Year War and Treaty excited the Ryman with the duo’s timely “Love Like There’s No Tomorrow.” 

Emerging Act nominees Jade Bird, Yola and Erin Rae showcased the impeccable talent in Americana’s new generation. Show-goers could hear strains in the Mother Church’s pews as Mumford & Sons joined hosts Milk Carton Kids for an eerie, stripped-down take on the former’s “Forever.” 

… and that’s not quite half of the show.

Giddens earned the first Legacy of Americana Awards alongside posthumous recipient Frank Johnson. 

An esteemed African-American fiddler from the Antebellum era, Giddens spoke poignantly about how Johnson played his way out of slavery into becoming a celebrated musician with thousands at his funeral. 

“I accept this …  for the countless legions of unknown, unnamed black musicians, who are an inextricable part of American music, without whom none of us — and I mean none of us — would sound like what we do.” 

Highwomen bandmates Carlile and Amanda Shires traded introductions (Carlile describing Shires as her “butterfly from outer space,” a term picked up from the former’s husband, Jason Isbell) before exceptional performances of 2018 tracks “The Mother” and “Parking Lot Pirouette,” respectively. 

In a show-stopping moment, Prine teamed with Bonnie Raitt for a performance of the timeless “Angel From Montgomery,” which Prine penned and Raitt popularized.

Bonnie Raitt and John Prine perform at the Americana Music Honors & Awards Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
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Bonnie Raitt performs with John Prine at the Americana Music Honors & Awards Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.
Bonnie Raitt and John Prine perform at the Americana Music Honors & Awards Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.

The association honored soul legend Mavis Staples with the inaugural Inspiration Award. Self-described as “not a good talker,” she’d speak candidly about the legacy the Staples Singers.  

“… the trials and tribulations that we went through back in the day, but we’re still here,” Staples said. “We’re still here and we’re still carryin’ on. We’re still singing our freedom songs. Yes, indeed. It’s more relevant today than ever.”

The tribute to legends continued with Elvis Costello, a British poet capturing the sounds and stories of American rock ‘n’ roll for four decades. He received the honorary Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting.

Performing a “Red Cotton” and “Blame it on Cain” duet with Americana staple Jim Lauderdale, Costello reflected on his journey from new wave fixture to performing George Jones songs on the Ryman stage with the Possum in attendance. 

“When I first came to America, all I knew was the dream America that came form songs and from movies,” he said. “Either our dream would be confirmed … or our dreams would be mashed. Every road sign, every girl I tried to kiss or that I shouldn’t have kissed, they all ended up in songs.” 

Staples returned to close the show with her 2019 song “Change” before welcoming a smiling ensemble to sing the audience out the door with “I’ll Fly Away.” 

2019 Americana Awards winners 

  • Album of the Year: “The Tree of Forgiveness,” John Prine, produced by Dave Cobb
  • Artist of the Year: Brandi Carlile
  • Duo/Group of the Year: I’m With Her
  • Emerging Act of the Year: The War and Treaty
  • Instrumentalist of the Year: Chris Eldridge
  • Song of the Year: “Summer’s End,” John Prine, written by Pat McLaughlin and John Prine
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance: Delbert McClinton
  • Legacy of Americana Award, presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music: Rhiannon Giddens and Frank Johnson
  • Trailblazer Award: Maria Muldaur
  • President’s Award: Felice & Boudleaux Bryant
  • Inspiration Award, presented in partnership with the First Amendment Center: Mavis Staples
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting: Elvis Costello

Source: © Copyright Nashville Tennessean
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