Andra Day Pays Tribute to Lauryn Hill and Other Highlights of Inaugural Grammy Hall of Fame Induction Gala

The first five inductions into the Grammy Hall of Fame were announced on the Grammy telecast in March 1974, but it has taken the Recording Academy 50 years to produce a stand-alone event to honor the year’s inductees. Better late than never.

The inaugural Grammy Hall of Fame Gala was held at the Novo Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 21.

To produce the event, the Academy and the Grammy Museum, which co-presented the event, turned to Ken Ehrlich, who guided the Grammy telecast for 40 years. To host, they enlisted CBS broadcast journalist Anthony Mason.

Six of the inductees were honored with performances. Four were handled with video tributes.

Some of the artists whose recordings were being honored were present, including William Bell, who performed his own song, “You Don’t Miss the Water;” Lauryn Hill, who was on hand to watch Andra Day perform a song from her inducted album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill; and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter of the Doobie Brothers, whose “What a Fool Believes” was honored.

In other cases, producers of the inducted recordings were on hand, including Mike Clink (Guns N’ RosesAppetite for Destruction) and Prince Paul (De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising). In still other cases, family members were in the audience.

In some cases, the program spelled out exactly why recordings were chosen. Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” was obviously hugely influential in paving the way for the mainstream acceptance of EDM. Kid Ory’s Creole Orchestra’s “Ory’s Creole Trombone” from 1922, we were told, was the first recording of Black Creole New Orleans jazz.

But in other cases, we were left to wonder. They should always spell out in one sentence exactly why the record was important and/or influential and why it was chosen over the roughly 200 other records that were vying for one of the 10 spots.

In addition to the 10 recordings being inducted, there was a tribute to Atlantic Records on what we were told was its 75th anniversary. (The label was founded in November 1947, so the 75th anniversary has passed.) Three classic Atlantic recordings were performed on the show. A video presentation included many of the label’s greatest artists, though Genesis and Yes seemed to be missing. Atlantic chairperson/CEO Julie Greenwald and chairman/CEO Craig Kallman accepted the honor.

Here are the best moments from the inaugural Grammy Hall of Fame Induction Gala.


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