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Nirvana, Heart to receive Grammys lifetime achievement awards

By Michael Rietmulder, The Seattle Times
Published: January 5, 2023, 5:31pm

SEATTLE — It was already highly probable that at least one of Seattle’s Grammy nominees would walk away with a trophy this year. But even before the 65th Grammy Awards commence Feb. 5 in Los Angeles, we know two hometown heroes will receive some hardware.

The Recording Academy announced the recipients of its special merits awards on Thursday, with Nirvana and Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson earning lifetime achievement awards. Voted on by the academy’s national trustees, the award is given to performers who “have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording,” according to the announcement. Nirvana and the Wilson sisters join a stellar 2023 class alongside Nile Rodgers, The Supremes, blues pioneer Ma Rainey, Slick Rick “The Ruler” and Bobby McFerrin.

The stars will be honored during a separate Special Merit Awards ceremony on Feb. 4, the night before the Grammys main event. It will be the first time since the pandemic that the ceremony will be held in person at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

“It’s such an honor to be recognized in this way after all the years, all the miles and all the songs!” Ann Wilson wrote on Twitter.

“I can hardly fathom the Lifetime Achievement Award is coming to me and my sister,” Nancy Wilson wrote on Instagram. “It’s a deep acknowledgment for the nearly 50 years of our lives we put into this music. It is more than meaningful for both of us. It speaks to the relevance of the songs themselves and what those songs continue to mean to our loyal and our new fans.”

While both Nirvana and Heart are enshrined in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, they have just one Grammy win between them prior to the lifetime achievement awards. Two years after Kurt Cobain’s death, Nirvana won the best alternative music performance award for its spellbinding “MTV Unplugged in New York” album. Heart picked up its first of four nominations with 1985’s glammy self-titled album, which helped rejuvenate the rockers’ career.