Reported from Los Angeles by Phyllis Pollack
The legendary annual Pre-Grammy gala, the 2014 Salute To Industry Icons celebration, presented by Clive Davis and The Recording Academy, will be held on Saturday, January 25, 2014, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. The announcement was made on Thursday, November 21, 2013, by The Recording Academy.
The celebrity-filled bash is held yearly during Grammy Week, on the eve prior to “Music’s Biggest Night,” the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.
As part of Grammy Week, on the evening before the 2014 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons event, four-time Grammy Award winner Carole King will be honored as the 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday, January 24, 2014. Under the umbrella of The Recording Academy, MusiCares provides critical assistance for music people in times of need.
MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.
The 2014 Grammy Salute To Industry Icons will be sponsored by Harman, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyundai, and MasterCard Worldwide. The very exclusive, star-filled celebration will flaunt memorable musical performances, and will be attended by the world’s most renowned artists and top industry VIPs in music, film, television and new media.
As part of the evening’s celebration, the 2014 Grammy Salute To Industry Icons will fete Universal Music Group’s (UMG) Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, CBE. The Recording Academy will honor Grainge with President’s Merit Award, recognizing his noteworthy contributions to the music industry and the effect his presence and work have made on both the label’s releases, and on the music business.
Famously, one of his Davis’ own artists, legendary songstress Whitney Houston, died at the hotel, while getting ready for last year’s Grammy Salute to Icons event.
While promoting his autobiography, entitled Soundtrack of My Life, in Los Angeles at a 2012 fundraiser for The Recording Academy’s MusiCares in Los Angeles at the Roxy, Davis, still obviously shaken, stated, “She had no idea she was flirting with death.”
Grammy emcee and host, actor and rapper LL Cool J, spent much of his time at last year’s Grammy Salute to Industry Icons event, on the phone with producers of the Grammy Awards, privately conversing about how to address the iconic singer’s death at the 55th annual awards show, which would to take place in less than 24 hours.
A film was later made by The Recording Academy, documenting the time period between the singer’s death, and the finale of the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, which included Sir Paul McCartney’s band, Joe Walsh, Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen, performing the Beatles Abbey Road Medley, “The End.” It included LL Cool J discussing that night at the party, emceed by Davis.
The handling of the drama and the estute production of the 55th Annual Grammy Awards led to yet another Emmy for the Grammy Awards.
Last year at the pre-Grammy Salute to Industry Icons, Sir Richard Branson of Virgin was honored. The evening brought out a bevy of stars, ranging from bassist Paul Stanley of Kiss to Sting to Tony Bennett. Many artists present expressed their shock and sorrow about the death of Ms. Houston.
On the red carpet at the event, Grammy-winning jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock, a devout Buddhist, said he would pray for her, and noted that he was chanting Buddhist prayers when he received the phone call notifying him about her sudden death.
In shock and just taking in the tragic news, artists that were present took the time to reflect, and were clearly moved by Houston’s death. It seemed to fuel their performances. As it is, every year at the event, artists are ready to celebrate their own careers, as well as the musical and career accomplishments of others.
More past notables feted at the event have included A&M founders Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, Clive Davis, himself, the late co-founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun, Geffen Records founder and Dreamworks executive David Geffen, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Sony CEO and Chairman Doug Morris, Epic Records CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid, and longtime Warner/Atlantic executive Mo Ostin.
Past guests at the annual party have included the biggest names in the business, including Cher, Neil Young, The Foo Fighters and Dave Stewart.
John Voight and Penny Marshall are among those in the film industry that have also attended the event.
“As we enter our sixth year of collaborating with Clive Davis, this legendary gala continues to be one of Grammy Week’s most prestigious events complete with unique one-of-a-kind performances,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “We are delighted and proud to pay tribute to Lucian Grainge, whose ability to spot talent and his impeccable business sense has made him one of today’s most successful leaders and a visionary Industry Icon.”
Grainge has worked in the music business for three decades, during which time he has signed or worked with some of the most well-known artists in the industry.
Among them are the Swedish pop group and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees ABBA, 17-time Grammy winner Jay Z, Justin Bieber, 11-time Grammy winner, 11-time Grammy winner Sir Elton John, 13-time Grammy winner Eminem, 8-time Grammy winners Metallica, 5-time Grammy winner Rihanna, 22-time Grammy winners U2, Katy Perry, and the late Grammy winner Amy Winehouse.
Grainge’s work in the industry has included crafting new approaches to recording contracts, branding, signing and developing artists, as well as innovating new business models and partnerships with a range of technology and media partners around the world, with brands including Apple, Google, Spotify, and YouTube.
In 1986 Grainge began working at Universal Music, and later launched a division of PolyGram Music Publishing in the UK.
In 2005 he was named chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group International and by 201, he was named chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Music Group. During his tenure at Universal, he has headed the acquisition of EMI’s recorded music operations, revitalized the Capitol Records catalogue, and in doing so, further strengthened UMG’s position as an international brand.
In creating new business models, his work in music publishing and recorded music, in addition to his work in finding ways to merge music and technology, has been cited as helping create a foundation for a return profit growth in the music business, an industry that had been suffering more than a decade of decline.
Since becoming CEO at UMG in 2011, Grainge has used new business models to improve the financial performance of UMG.
Simulataneously, UMG broke several creative superlatives, including UMG’s becoming the first record label to have nine of the top 10 songs on Billboard’s Digital Songs chart, and the first record company to claim all 10 of the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100.
Throughout the years, Grainge has been recognized for his business accumen. Billboard magazine’s Power 100 listed him as the most powerful executive in the industry.
Abroad, three years ago, he was recognized as part of Britain’s New Year Honors, and awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and in 2011. He has been awarded the prestigious Music Industry Trusts’ Award as one of the most influential and successful executives in global entertainment.
Grainge was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron as a UK Business Ambassador with special remit on global media and entertainment. Recently, he was named a trustee of the American Friends of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Grainge is also on the board of directors of Dreamworks Animation, and on the board of trustees of Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
Past iconic performers at the annual Grammy Salute to Industry icons have included the Patti Smith, the Kinks, Whitney Houston and many other top artists, offering their fare from their greatest hits.
The soundstage at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is named for Davis, a result of his large donation to the enterprise, which allows the public to witness first-hand, precious historical artifacts belonging to entertainers, past and present, and to learn more about music history. Many notable artists and producers have spoken and/or performed at the musuem.
Clive Davis began his career in music at Columbia Records, now Sony, and was later appointed president if the company 1967, and became legendary for signing and setting off the careers of iconic rock artists as Janis Joplin, Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Earth, Wind & Fire.
In 1974 Davis co-founded Arista Records, where he signed Barry Manilow, Patti Smith and the late songstress Whitney Houston.
He further developed the careers of artists including the Kinks, the Grateful Dead, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin.
His many business moves include forming LaFace Records in 1989 with Babyface and L.A. Reid, and creating Bad Boy Records in 1994 with Sean “Diddy” Combs, spawning the short-lived, but iconic career of the late Brooklyn born rapper, Notorious BIG.
In 2000, after being put into a controversail forced “retirement,” his J Records was born (in partnership with BMG), and he again escalated as an even more dominant force, producing the works of Alicia Keys, and the group Maroon 5, spawning the career of Adam Levine of the Voice.
Davis was then given the position of Chairman/CEO at BMG U.S. Label Group, where he headed an enlarged RCA Music Group that now included the formidable trio of his J Records, RCA Records and Arista Records.
After BMG and Sony Music merged, Davis was appointed chief creative officer, Sony Music Worldwide in 2008, where he continues to work with talent.
Davis received The Recording Academy’s Trustees Award in 2000, and was recognized with the President’s Merit Awards at the 2009 Grammy Salute To Industry Icons.
As a humanitarian, Davis has made tireless efforts in the battle against AIDS, spearheading donations of millions of dollars for AIDS research. In 2002 the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music was created at his undergraduate alma mater, New York University. Davis graduated from Harvard Law School.
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the Grammy Awards, the industry’s most credible award for musical excellence and career achievement.
The Recording Academy’s mission includes advocacy, education, charitable services and human services among its many programs that involve both the music industry and the general public.