On Saturday, the Recording Academy held its annual Special Merit Awards, which included this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards, whose recipients included New Orleans funk godfathers The Meters, among others. The ceremony was hosted by LA’s Dolby Theatre.
In attendance were original Meters George Porter Jr., Zigaboo Modeliste and Leo Nocentelli, plus longtime vocal collaborator Cyril Neville. Keyboardist Art “Poppa Funk” Neville was unable to attend, with Greg Phillinganes filling in on keys for The Meters’ performance of some of their classic tunes prior to their award acceptance. Art’s son Ian, guitarist for Dumpstaphunk, was also on hand to help accept the award on behalf of his father.
The night also featured a special video tribute from Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who sent in his congratulations from the Stones’ tour stop in Berlin.
Saturday’s Grammy concert will be broadcast on PBS this fall as part of the channel’s “Great Performances” series. Other Lifetime Achievement Award recipients included Neil Diamond, Queen, Tina Turner, Emmylou Harris, Hal Blaine and Louis Jordan.