Nirvana, Nile Rodgers and Heart’s Nancy and Ann Wilson all honored with 2023 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards

Nancy Wilson of Heart, Nile Rodgers and Nirvana's Kurt Cobain
(Image credit: Ethan Miller / JMEnternational / Kevin Mazur)

Nile Rodgers, Nirvana and Heart’s Nancy and Ann Wilson are all set to be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2023 Grammys. 

The ceremony is scheduled for February 4 and is due to take place in person for the first time since 2020. The list includes a diverse array of artists, including The Supremes (meaning Diana Ross joins a rare list of two-time inductees), Slick Rick, blues icon Ma Rainey and Bobby McFerrin. 

Chic guitarist and serial hit-making producer Nile Rodgers already has multiple Grammy awards, alongside inductions to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame to his name, so his inclusion is arguably overdue. 

Elsewhere, Nirvana will be honored for their role in sparking a “seismic shift in global youth culture” in the early '90s and returning “rock 'n' roll integrity and passion to the top of the charts.”

Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, meanwhile, are no poor relations – celebrated here for their mammoth rock anthems like Alone and These Dreams, both of which were Billboard number ones – though, shockingly, their galloping riff-fest Barracuda only got to number 14 upon its initial release. They also had a run of 10 top 10 albums in the ’80s, which remains the longest by a female-fronted band. 

All the honorees will join a list of previous Lifetime Achievement Award winners that includes some of guitar music’s most iconic names – among them Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers, Chet Atkins, Cream, Buddy Guy, George Harrison, Lightnin' Hopkins and the Rolling Stones.

In addition to the performers, the Recording Academy also issue Trustee and Technical Awards to individuals and organisations of particular merit. In 2023, this will include photography Henry Diltz, who shot Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and The Eagles, as well as landing the plum job of official photographer for the 1969 Woodstock Festival. 

Stax Records founder Jim Stewart is also honored for his role in bringing us Booker T. And The MGs, Albert King and many more, while Dr. Andy Hildebrand is celebrated for developing Antares’ groundbreaking auto-tune technology.

“The Academy is proud to celebrate this diverse slate of influential music people spanning numerous genres and crafts as our 2023 Special Merit Awards honorees,” says Harvey Mason Jr., the Recording Academy CEO. 

“Each creator on this list has made an impact on our industry – from technical to creative achievements – representing the breadth of music’s diverse community. We’re excited to celebrate this group of legends next month that continues to inspire and shape the music world.”

The full Grammys ceremony takes place on February 4, 2023, at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. Head to the official Grammys site for more information.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.