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This Special Merit Award is presented by vote of the Recording Academy's National Trustees to performers* who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artist significance to the field of recording. (*Through 1972 recipients included non-performers.)

 

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Roy Acuff
Awarded: 1987
Marian Anderson
Awarded: 1991
Louis Armstrong
Awarded: 1972
Eddy Arnold
Awarded: 2005
Fred Astaire
Awarded: 1989
Chet Atkins
Awarded: 1993
Gene Autry
Awarded: 2009
Burt Bacharach
Awarded: 2008
Joan Baez
Awarded: 2007
The Band
Awarded: 2008
Count Basie
Awarded: 2002
Beach Boys
Awarded: 2001
Harry Belafonte
Awarded: 2000
Tony Bennett
Awarded: 2001
Irving Berlin
Awarded: 1968
Leonard Bernstein
Awarded: 1985
Chuck Berry
Awarded: 1984
Art Blakey
Awarded: 2005
Bobby "Blue" Bland
Awarded: 1997
The Blind Boys Of Alabama
Awarded: 2009
Booker T. & The MG's
Awarded: 2007
David Bowie
Awarded: 2006
James Brown
Awarded: 1992
Dave Brubeck
Awarded: 1996
Maria Callas
Awarded: 2007
Cab Calloway
Awarded: 2008
Benny Carter
Awarded: 1987
(Original) Carter Family
Awarded: 2005
Enrico Caruso
Awarded: 1987
Pablo Casals
Awarded: 1989
Johnny Cash
Awarded: 1999
Ray Charles
Awarded: 1987
Van Cliburn
Awarded: 2004
Patsy Cline
Awarded: 1995
Rosemary Clooney
Awarded: 2002
Leonard Cohen
Awarded: 2010
Nat "King" Cole
Awarded: 1990
Ornette Coleman
Awarded: 2007
John Coltrane
Awarded: 1992
Perry Como
Awarded: 2002
Sam Cooke
Awarded: 1999
Cream
Awarded: 2006
Bing Crosby
Awarded: 1962
Bobby Darin
Awarded: 2010
Sammy Davis Jr.
Awarded: 2001
Miles Davis
Awarded: 1990
Doris Day
Awarded: 2008
Bo Diddley
Awarded: 1998
Fats Domino
Awarded: 1987
The Doors
Awarded: 2007
Bob Dylan
Awarded: 1991
David "Honeyboy" Edwards
Awarded: 2010
Duke Ellington
Awarded: 1966
Bill Evans
Awarded: 1994
Everly Brothers
Awarded: 1997
Ella Fitzgerald
Awarded: 1967
The Four Tops
Awarded: 2009
Aretha Franklin
Awarded: 1994
The Funk Brothers
Awarded: 2004
Judy Garland
Awarded: 1997
Marvin Gaye
Awarded: 1996
Dizzy Gillespie
Awarded: 1989
Benny Goodman
Awarded: 1986
Morton Gould
Awarded: 2005
Stephane Grappelli
Awarded: 1997
Grateful Dead
Awarded: 2007
Al Green
Awarded: 2002
Woody Guthrie
Awarded: 2000
Merle Haggard
Awarded: 2006
Jascha Heifetz
Awarded: 1989
Jimi Hendrix
Awarded: 1992
Woody Herman
Awarded: 1987
Billie Holiday
Awarded: 1987
Buddy Holly
Awarded: 1997
John Lee Hooker
Awarded: 2000
Lena Horne
Awarded: 1989
Vladimir Horowitz
Awarded: 1990
Mahalia Jackson
Awarded: 1972
Michael Jackson
Awarded: 2010
Etta James
Awarded: 2003
Ella Jenkins
Awarded: 2004
Robert Johnson
Awarded: 2006
Hank Jones
Awarded: 2009
Janis Joplin
Awarded: 2005
B.B. King
Awarded: 1987
Led Zeppelin
Awarded: 2005
Brenda Lee
Awarded: 2009
Peggy Lee
Awarded: 1995
John Lennon
Awarded: 1991
Jerry Lee Lewis
Awarded: 2005
Little Richard
Awarded: 1993
Loretta Lynn
Awarded: 2010
Henry Mancini
Awarded: 1995
Bob Marley
Awarded: 2001
Dean Martin
Awarded: 2009
Johnny Mathis
Awarded: 2003
Curtis Mayfield
Awarded: 1995
Paul McCartney
Awarded: 1990
Glenn Miller
Awarded: 2003
Mitch Miller
Awarded: 2000
Mills Bros.
Awarded: 1998
Charles Mingus
Awarded: 1997
Joni Mitchell
Awarded: 2002
Thelonious Monk
Awarded: 1993
Bill Monroe
Awarded: 1993
Jelly Roll Morton
Awarded: 2005
Willie Nelson
Awarded: 2000
Jessye Norman
Awarded: 2006
Roy Orbison
Awarded: 1998
Charlie Parker
Awarded: 1984
Tom Paxton
Awarded: 2009
Pinetop Perkins
Awarded: 2005
Itzhak Perlman
Awarded: 2008
Oscar Peterson
Awarded: 1997
Elvis Presley
Awarded: 1971
André Previn
Awarded: 2010
Leontyne Price
Awarded: 1989
Richard Pryor
Awarded: 2006
Tito Puente
Awarded: 2003
Otis Redding
Awarded: 1999
Max Roach
Awarded: 2008
Paul Robeson
Awarded: 1998
Smokey Robinson
Awarded: 1999
Rolling Stones
Awarded: 1986
Sonny Rollins
Awarded: 2004
Artur Rubinstein
Awarded: 1994
Earl Scruggs
Awarded: 2008
Pete Seeger
Awarded: 1993
Andrés Segovia
Awarded: 1986

Artie Shaw
Awarded: 2004

Simon & Garfunkel
Awarded: 2003
Frank Sinatra
Awarded: 1965
Bessie Smith
Awarded: 1989
Georg Solti
Awarded: 1996
The Staple Singers
Awarded: 2005
Isaac Stern
Awarded: 1987
Igor Stravinsky
Awarded: 1987
Barbra Streisand
Awarded: 1995
Art Tatum
Awarded: 1989
Clark Terry
Awarded: 2010
Mel Tormé
Awarded: 1999
Arturo Toscanini
Awarded: 1987
Sarah Vaughan
Awarded: 1989
Fats Waller
Awarded: 1993
Muddy Waters
Awarded: 1992
Doc Watson
Awarded: 2004
The Weavers
Awarded: 2006
Kitty Wells
Awarded: 1991
The Who
Awarded: 2001
Hank Williams Sr.
Awarded: 1987
Bob Wills
Awarded: 2007
Stevie Wonder
Awarded: 1996
Frank Zappa
Awarded: 1997

 
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