Roberta Flack to Receive Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Paul Natkin/Getty Images
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Paul Natkin/Getty Images

"Killing Me Softly With His Song" legend Roberta Flack will be awarded with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, alongside Stax Records legend Isaac Hayes, the "rock band with horns" Chicago, country singer-songwriter John Prine, hip-hop icons Public Enemy and gospel pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe at the Recording Academy's 2020 Special Merit Awards, which will be held April 18 in Pasadena, California.

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors "performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording."

"Our industry is one that prides itself on influence and paying it forward, and each year the Recording Academy has the privilege of honoring a select group of visionaries whose creative contributions have rippled throughout our culture," Deborah Dugan, president and CEO of The Recording Academy said in a statement.

She added, "Our Special Merit Awards recipients have molded their musical passion into pieces of history that will continue to influence and inspire generations of music creators and music lovers to come."

In 1973, just as soul was bourgeoning into more intimate and romantic undertones, Flack was inspired by Lori Lieberman's original recording of "Killing Me Softly With His Song" a year earlier, and soared straight to No. 1 with her Atlantic Records release of the song. She also won Song of the Year, two Grammys for her rendition, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. 

Earlier this year, Alicia Keys gave a beautiful rendition of "Killing Me Softly With His Song" to honor Flack's birthday. 

The Recording Academy will host the Grammy Awards on Jan. 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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