Someone must really be shaking things up over at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Not only do the Grammy Award nominees not totally blow, but now they’re giving a lifetime achievement award to a punk band for the first time ever. Yes, believe it or not, but The Ramones will be honored with the award during a private ceremony on February 12, 2011, a day prior to the main Grammy event.
Though never actually chart-topping, The Ramones’ career spanned 22 years and 14 studio albums. They were punk-rock pioneers whose influence can still be found in today’s sonic landscape. Regrettably, three of the four founding members, Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee Ramone, have all passed away in the last decade. However, drummers Tommy and Marky Ramone can be expected to accept the award.
Other recipients of the special awards include country star Dolly Parton, 101-year-old (102 by the time he actually accepts the award) gospel singer George Beverly Shea, Julie Andrews of The Sound of Music fame, jazz percussionist Roy Haynes, Julliard String Quartet, and folk revivalists The Kingston Trio. The Ramones are unique among the honorees in that they’re the only act never to have received an actual Grammy.
But that’s not surprising. In fact, the Academy has a history of honoring people who never won nominated awards by giving them lifetime achievement awards. Like who? Well, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix, to name a few. Kind of like a university giving someone whose application they rejected an honorary degree, isn’t it?