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GREIN ON GRAMMYS: PICK 60

The Recording Academy does a reasonably good job of dispensing its Lifetime Achievement Awards. The artists who are honored each year are a distinguished and diverse bunch. You'll see fresh evidence of that on Friday, when PBS airs this year's Grammy Salute to Music Legends special.

But there are literally dozens of worthy candidates waiting in the wings, hoping to be honored before they move on to that big recording studio in the sky. (Some, unfortunately, left us before they got the coveted call from the Grammy office informing them of the honor.)

Here are 60 artists, all worthy of serious consideration, who have yet to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Many are such slam-dunks you'll have a hard time believing that they haven't gotten it yet.

I confined myself to artists who debuted in 1983 or earlier, which is 35 years ago. The Grammys don't have a rule that 35 years—or any set amount of time—must elapse for an artist to be considered. My intention was simply to focus on artists who are overdue for recognition.

The Grammys didn't always wait until an artist was a senior citizen to bestow Lifetime Achievement Awards. The first recipient, Bing Crosby, was 60 when he got the award in 1963. The first female recipient, Ella Fitzgerald, was just 50 (two years younger than Janet Jackson is now) when she got the award in 1967.

One problem with waiting so long to honor people is that artists are less apt to be able to attend the annual Grammy Salute TV taping when they're old and frail. And, of course, artists sometimes die before their time. I don't know if it would have meant a great deal to Prince or Glenn Frey (as part of the Eagles) to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy, but if it would have, it's a shame that they didn't receive the honor before they died. Does anyone question whether these artists deserved the recognition?

The Academy dispenses about seven Lifetime Achievement Awards per year. At that rate, they'll never catch up, because more artists advance toward the honor every year. Eventually, such contemporary superstars as Beyoncé, Adele, Eminem and Jay Z will need to be honored.

There is a solution: The Academy should have a "catch-up" year (or several years) in which they give more than seven awards. The Country Music Hall of Fame did just that in 2001, when they inducted 12 artists (compared to an average of about three per year). Closer to home, the Grammys had two "catch-up years" with their Grammy Hall of Fame awards. At the direction of Michael Greene, the Academy's former President/CEO, they voted in hundreds of entries in 1998 and 1999 in a successful effort to get caught up and fill in some gaps.

Let's get to the list. First, a disclaimer. I don't mean to suggest that these are the only 60 artists who are, or should be, in play. There are many more worthy artists than I have on this list. But this will give you an idea of how backlogged they are.

The artists are listed in order of the release of their first major recording—usually, their first studio album (which is the date in parentheses).

Dinah Washington (1950). The singer and pianist amassed 35 top 10 R&B hits between 1944 and 1961. Died in 1963.

Andy Williams (December 1956). Our "huckleberry friend" never won a Grammy, though Days of Wine and Roses (1963) was nominated for Album of the Year. Hosted the first seven live Grammy telecasts. Died in 2012.

Buck Owens (August 1961). Owens, 76, amassed 47 top 10 country hits between 1959 and 1988, the year of his chart-topping collabo with Dwight Yoakam, "Streets of Bakersfield."

Conway Twitty (1959). Had a #1 pop hit in 1958 with "It's Only Make Believe." 75 top 10 country hits between 1968 and 1975, including 12 duets with Loretta Lynn. Died in 1993.

Sérgio Mendes (1961). Top 10 hits spanning 15 years, from 1968 to 1983. His chief significance is paving the way for multi-cultural world music. Mendes is 77.

The 4 Seasons (September 1962). Nominated for Best New Artist in 1962, but lost to Broadway star Robert Goulet. The success of the jukebox musical Jersey Boys proves their durability.

Gladys Knight & the Pips (1962). The beloved family act had 31 top 10 R&B hits between 1961 and 1988. Gladys, 74, notched two more on her own.

Herb Alpert (December 1962, with the Tijuana Brass). Alpert, 83, and Jerry Moss received a Trustees Award in 1997 for co-founding A&M Records. This would recognize Alpert as an artist. To this day, he's the only artist to reach #1 with both a vocal hit and an instrumental hit.

Dionne Warwick (February 1963). Warwick, 77, was the voice of Bacharach & David. "That's What Friends Are For" (1986) was nominated for Record of the Year.

Dusty Springfield (June 1964). Though widely admired, Springfield never won a Grammy. Her top 10 hits stretch from 1964's "Wishin' and Hopin'" to 1988's "What Have I Done to Deserve This," a collabo with Pet Shop Boys. Died in 1999.

The Kinks (October 1964). One of the top groups to emerge from the British Invasion. Their top 10 hits span nearly 20 years, from 1964's "You Really Got Me" to 1983's "Come Dancing."

Waylon Jennings (December 1964). 53 top 10 country hits between 1966 and 1990, including four collabos with Willie Nelson and two with his then-wife, Jessi Colter. Died in 2002.

The Byrds (June 1965). The band hit #1 with Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" and Pete Seeger's "Turn! Turn! Turn!." They were nominated for Best New Artist in 1965, but lost to Tom Jones.

Luciano Pavarotti (1966). The operatic tenor received a Grammy Legend Award in 1990, but that isn't as prestigious or definitive as a Lifetime Achievement Award. (And nine artists have won both.) Pavarotti died in 2007.

Tammy Wynette (April 1967). 39 top 10 country hits between 1967 and 1980, including eight duets with then-husband George Jones. Died in 1998.

Pink Floyd (August 1967). The English rock band recorded two of the most iconic and successful albums in rock history—The Wall (which was nominated for Album of the Year) and The Dark Side of the Moon (which, regrettably, wasn't).

Van Morrison (September 1967). Morrison, 73, has written such prized songs as "Gloria," "Moondance," "Domino," "Wild Night" and "Have I Told You Lately."

Isaac Hayes (February 1968). The Shaft soundtrack and its immortal theme song were up for Album and Record of the Year in 1971. Hayes died in 2008.

Randy Newman (June 1968). Newman, 74, is best known these days for his film music work, but his 11 studio albums have spawned such modern-day standards as "I Think It's Going to Rain Today."

John Fogerty (July 1968, with Creedence Clearwater Revival). Fogerty, 73, topped the album chart twice with CCR and once as a solo artist.

James Taylor (December 1968). Taylor, 70, paced the singer/songwriter movement of the early '70s. Nominated twice for Album of the Year, twice for Record of the Year and once for Song of the Year.

Neil Young (January 1969, as a solo artist). "Harvest Moon" was nominated for Record and Song of the Year in 1993, 23 years after Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Déjà vu was nominated for Album of the Year. Young is 72.

Bob Seger (January 1969, with Bob Seger System). His greatest hits include "Night Moves," "Still the Same," "Shame on the Moon" and "Shakedown." Seger is 73.

Genesis (March 1969). Two of the English rock group's members, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel, went on to become Grammy magnets.

Chicago (April 1969). Their early records, fusing rock, jazz and pop, were groundbreaking. Two noms for Album of the Year, one for Record of the Year.

Crosby, Stills & Nash (May 1969). Their eponymous debut album was nominated for Album of the Year. They won Best New Artist of 1969. David Crosby is 77, a bit older than Graham Nash (76) and Stephen Stills (73).

Santana (August 1969). Santana's coronation at the 1999 Grammys was a de facto Lifetime Achievement Award, but it's time for the real thing. Carlos Santana is 71.

Carpenters (October 1969). Karen and Richard went against the grain in the '70s and landed back-to-back Album of the Year noms. Karen died in 1983. Richard will turn 72 on Oct. 15.

John Denver (October 1969). Merged pop, folk and country. Hosted six Grammy telecasts. Back Home Again was nominated for Album of the Year (1974). Denver died in 1997.

Elton John (April 1970). Elton, 71, received a Grammy Legend Award in 2000. Nominated for Album of the Year three times; Song of the Year twice; Record of the Year once.

Eric Clapton (July 1970, as a solo artist). Cream received this award in 2006, but Clapton, 73, has done a lot since Cream disbanded in 1968. He has won Album of the Year twice (counting The Concert for Bangla Desh), Record of the Year twice and Song of the Year once.

Billy Joel (November 1971). Joel, 69, received a Grammy Legend Award in 1991. Won Record and Song of the Year for "Just the Way You Are" (1978); Album of the Year for 52nd Street (1979).

Bonnie Raitt (November 1971). Her 1989 Album of the Year victory for Nick of Time was one of the biggest upsets in Grammy history, and turned her into a star overnight. Raitt is 68.

Paul Simon (January 1972). Simon & Garfunkel received this award in 2003, but Simon has done a lot since they broke up in 1970. On his own, he has won Album of the Year twice and Record of the Year once. Simon will turn 77 on Oct. 13.

Eagles (June 1972). They had the first rock track to win Record of the Year ("Hotel California"). They won performance Grammys in the pop, rock and country fields.

Aerosmith (January 1973). The band's top 10 hits span 25 years, from 1976's "Dream On" to 2001's "Jaded." Steven Tyler and Joe Perry's participation on Run-D.M.C.'s remake of "Walk This Way" was historic.

Bruce Springsteen (January 1973). The Boss' 20 Grammys include the 1994 award for Song of the Year for "Streets of Philadelphia." Three noms for Song of the Year; two for Album of the Year; two for Record of the Year. Springsteen is 69.

ABBA (March 1974). ABBA was never even nominated for a Grammy, but Mamma Mia! The Musical was nominated for Best Musical Show Album (2001) and the soundtrack to the 2008 film adaptation was nominated for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album.

Lionel Richie (July 1974, with the Commodores). Won the 1984 Grammys for Album and Producer of the Year. Won Song of the Year the following year for co-writing "We Are the World" with Michael Jackson. The survivor is 69.

Fleetwood Mac (July 1975, for this classic lineup). The hit-studded Rumours took the 1977 award for Album of the Year.

AC/DC (May 1976). The Aussie band wasn't nominated for a Grammy until 1988 and didn't win until 2009, when "War Machine" took Best Hard Rock Performance.

Tom Petty (November 1976, with the Heartbreakers). Had two Album of the Year noms in 1989—one on his own (Full Moon Fever) and one with Traveling Wilburys. Died in 2017.

Alabama (1976). They were the first act to win the CMA award for Entertainer of the Year three times. 52 top 10 country hits between 1980 and 2011.

Peter Gabriel (February 1977). Gabriel, 68, was nominated for Album, Record and Song of the Year in 1986, the year of "Sledgehammer."

Steve Winwood (June 1977 as a solo artist). Winwood received three consecutive Record of the Year noms from 1986-'88 for "Higher Love" (which won), "Back in the High Life Again" and "Roll with It." Winwood is 70.

Elvis Costello (July 1977). Costello was nominated for Best New Artist in 1978, but lost to two-hit-wonders A Taste of Honey. He finally won his first Grammy 20 years later for a collabo with Burt Bacharach. Costello is 64.

Reba McEntire (August 1977). 59 top 10 country hits between 1980 and 2011. McEntire, 63, has won Grammys for country and roots gospel music.

Nile Rodgers (November 1977, with Chic). Rodgers, 66, has had a long and varied career as an artist and producer. Won a Grammy for Record of the Year his featured role on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" (2013).

Van Halen (February 1978). The Los Angeles rock band had a long run at the top, from the '70s into the '90s.

Prince (April 1978). He never won a Grammy in a "Big Four" category, if you can believe that. Two noms for Album of the Year; one for Song of the Year. Died in 2016.

Sting (November 1978, with The Police). Sting's 16 Grammys include the 1983 award for Song of the Year for "Every Breath You Take." Sting, who turns 67 on Oct. 2, left the biggest group in the world to go solo. Ballsy move. Worked out fine.

U2 (October 1980). The Irish band has won two Grammys for Record of the Year, two for Album of the Year and two for Song of the Year.

Phil Collins (February 1981). Collins, 67, took Album and Producer of the Year for 1985's No Jacket Required; Record of the Year five years later for "Another Day in Paradise."

Luther Vandross (August 1981). Vandross was the top male R&B balladeer of the '80s and '90s. He and Richard Marx took the 2003 award for Song of the Year for "Dance with My Father." Died in 2005.

George Strait (September 1981). 85 top 10 country hits between 1981 and 2012. Strait, 66, has won a record 23 CMA Awards. He finally won his first (and only) Grammy in 2008.

Janet Jackson (September 1982). Your brother is the biggest pop star on the planet and you want to establish your own identity as an artist? Good luck with that. Jackson, 52, did just that. Control was nominated for Album of the Year in 1986.

George Clinton (November 1982). The mastermind behind Parliament-Funkadelic was responsible for some of the funkiest records of the '70s and '80s. Clinton, 77, has yet to win a Grammy.

George Michael (July 1983, with Wham!). The pop star wrote, produced and performed every track on Faith, which won the 1988 award for Album of the Year. Michael died in 2016.

Madonna (July 1983). Madonna, 60, had an endless run of hits and acclaimed videos. After a slow Grammy start, she landed Record of the Year noms for "Ray of Light" and "Music."

Metallica (July 1983). After losing out to Jethro Tull on their first Grammy nom (neither the Grammys nor Jethro Tull will ever live that down), Metallica has gone on to win eight Grammys.

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