The Recording Academy announced on Thursday (Dec. 19) its 2020 class of Special Merit Awards recipients, and that list includes folk singer-songwriter turned Americana godfather John Prine.
Prine's Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award honors an ongoing career that began in Chicago in the '70s. A recent resurgence as a hero turned peer for many of Nashville's most talented country music outcasts placed Prine back on the Grammy Awards map with his 2018 album Tree of Forgiveness.
Prine's latest honor adds to a list of accolades that already included memberships in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Additional Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients for 2020 are horn-rock band Chicago; jazz, soul ad R&B legend Roberta Flack; soul singer Isaac Hayes; proto-punk icon Iggy Pop; subversive hip-hop group Public Enemy and one of the most important links between roots and rock music, Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The seven new inductees were chosen by the Recording Academy's Board of Trustees for their "outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording."
Read More: The 10 Best John Prine Songs, Ranked
"Our industry is one that prides itself on influence and paying it forward, and each year the Recording Academy has the privilege of honoring a select group of visionaries whose creative contributions have rippled throughout our culture," said Deborah Dugan, President/CEO of the Recording Academy, in a statement posted on the Grammy's website. "Our Special Merit Awards recipients have molded their musical passion into pieces of history that will continue to influence and inspire generations of music creators and music lovers to come."
The newest class of Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients will be honored at a special award presentation ceremony on April 18 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in California. Others celebrated that night include Trustees Award honorees Ken Ehrlich, Philip Glass and Frank Walker as well as Technical Grammy Award recipient George Augspurger.