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GREAT PERFORMANCES: Grammy Salute To Music Legends 2020

Sister Rosetta Tharpe (undated photo)
Courtesy of Michael Ochs Archives from Getty Images
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (undated photo)

Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 at 9 p.m. on KPBS 2

Annual Awards And Tribute Concert Takes On New Virtual Format

The Recording Academy® will honor its 2020 Special Merit Awards recipients with GREAT PERFORMANCES "GRAMMY Salute To Music Legends®," an awards ceremony and tribute concert hosted by Jimmy Jam on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020.


Announced earlier this year, the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award honorees are Chicago, Roberta Flack, Isaac Hayes, Iggy Pop, John Prine, Public Enemy, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Ken Ehrlich, Philip Glass and Frank Walker received Trustees Award honors, and George Augspurger was recognized with the Technical GRAMMY® Award. Mickey Smith Jr. will also accept the Music Educator Award™ as this year’s recipient.

Performers include Laurie Anderson, Philip Bailey, Brandi Carlile, Cynthia Erivo, Chris Isaak, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, Cyndi Lauper, Sam Moore, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Yola. Presenters include Rhiannon Giddens, Joe Mantegna, John Legend, LL COOL J, Greg Phillinganes, Henry Rollins, and Don Was.

Original performances by:

Roberta Flack: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” — Performed by Cynthia Erivo and “Where Is The Love” — Performed by Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom, Jr.

  • Chicago: “If You Leave Me Now” — Performed by Philip Bailey
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: “Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air” — Performed by Yola

  • Isaac Hayes: “Soul Man” / “I Thank You” / “You Don’t Know Like I Know” / “Hold On, I'm Comin'” / “You Got Me Hummin’” / “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby” — Performed by Sam Moore

  • Philip Glass: “Gee Whiz” — Performed by Laurie Anderson
  • Frank Walker: “Your Cheatin’ Heart” — Performed by Chris Isaak

  • Ken Ehrlich: “Time After Time” — Performed by Cyndi Lauper

John Prine: “Storm Windows” — Performed by Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires and “I Remember Everything” — Performed by Brandi Carlile

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 will feature archival video packages celebrating each of the honorees' contributions to the music industry and its cultural heritage.


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This film will stream on the program website in concurrence with its broadcast.

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A production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Written by David Wild and directed for television by David Horn, with Mitch Owgang as producer and David Horn and Branden Chapman as executive producers. Terry Lickona and Chantel Sausedo are co-producers.