Caesar to be honored with Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Photo Courtesy of eOne Music

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

The Recording Academy announced today (Dec. 19) that Shirley Caesar is the recipient of one of the seven 2017 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards bestowed by the Academy.  Other Lifetime Achievement Awardees are jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, country singers Charley Pride and Jimmie Rodgers, vocalist Nina Simone, musician/songwriter Sly Stone, and rock band The Velvet Underground. 

According to a press release from The Recording Academy, “The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording, while the Trustees Award honors contributions in areas other than performance. The recipients are determined by vote of The Recording Academy’s National Board of Trustees. Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are voted on by The Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing® Advisory Council and Chapter Committees, and are ratified by The Academy’s Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and/or companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording industry.”
Of Pastor Shirley Caesar, The Recording Academy writes, 

A deeply spiritual and affecting gospel singer, Shirley Caesar’s emotive vocal talents were discovered in a church choir when she was 10 years old. She is arguably best known for her eight-year tenure with the Chicago-based gospel group the Caravans, whom she joined after appealing to Albertina Walker to sing a solo with the group. Electing to pursue a solo career in 1966 alongside her own choir, the Caesar Singers, she subsequently carved out a profile that earned her the title of First Lady of Gospel Music. Caesar’s roll call of achievements includes 11 GRAMMY Awards®, 14 Stellar awards, 15 Dove awards, a NAACP Image Award, a Soul Train Music Award, and two current 59th GRAMMY nominations.

Caesar, 78, has enjoyed a highly successful 2016 that, in addition to the GRAMMY nominations for her Billboard chart-topping album Fill This House, has included a number one spot on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart for “Hold My Mule” (as result of the viral Internet success of the “U Name It” Challenge featuring a portion of the sermonette), and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.