The Velvet Underground, Nina Simone and Sly Stone to receive special Grammy Awards

Jefferson Airplane, Linda Ronstadt and Run-D.M.C. received the same honour in 2016

The Velvet Underground, Nina Simone and Sly Stone are set to be honoured at the 2017 Grammy Special Merit Awards.

The honourees will be celebrated as part of the pre-Grammy Awards festivities in February.

They will each received Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammy Special Merit Awards.


Gospel singer Shirley Caesar, jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, guitarist Charley Pride and “Father of Country Music” Jimmie Rodgers will also receive Lifetime Achievement Awards.

In honouring The Velvet Underground, the Recording Academy wrote: “Despite a relatively brief lifespan and limited commercial success, The Velvet Underground are now recognised as one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Comprising Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen ‘Moe’ Tucker, the band was, perhaps, ahead of their time, both visually and sonically. Often dubbed the quintessential proto-punk band, they’ve continued to be the benchmark for countless modern-rock movements over the past 50 years.”

Stone was credited by the Recording Academy as playing “a critical role in the development of soul, funk, rock, and psychedelia,” reports Rolling Stone.

Ruth Brown, Celia Cruz, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Linda Ronstadt, and Run-D.M.C. received the same honours this year.

Meanwhile, John Cale recently announced that he’ll be playing The Velvet Underground’s classic album ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ at three special shows in New York, Paris and Liverpool.


The legendary 1967 album was recorded during Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia event tour. With Warhol’s now iconic banana artwork and containing tracks such as ‘Sunday Morning’, ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’, ‘Venus In Furs’, ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ and ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’, it would become one of the most influential albums of all time.

In 1966, the band contained the now legendary line-up of Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Maureen Tucker and Nico.

Cale will perform ‘The Velvet Underground And Nico’ in full at Liverpool Docklands on Friday, May 26.