A Grammy Award (stylized as GRAMMY, originally called Gramophone Award), or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievement in the mainly English-language music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. It shares recognition of the music industry as that of the other performance awards such as the Academy Awards (film), the Emmy Awards (television), and the Tony Awards (theater).
The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor and respect the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Following the 2011 ceremony, the Academy overhauled many Grammy Award categories for 2012. The 59th Grammy Awards, honoring the best achievements from October 2015 to September 2016, was held on February 12, 2017 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Sir Georg Solti, KBE (/ /; Budapest, 21 October 1912 – Antibes, 5 September 1997) was a Hungarian-born orchestral and operatic conductor, best known for his appearances with opera companies in Munich, Frankfurt and London, and as a long-serving music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Born in Budapest, he studied there with Béla Bartók, Leó Weiner and Ernő Dohnányi. In the 1930s, he was a répétiteur at the Hungarian State Opera and worked at the Salzburg Festival for Arturo Toscanini. His career was interrupted by the rise of the Nazis’ influence on Hungarian politics, and being of Jewish background he fled the increasingly harsh Hungarian anti-Jewish laws in 1938. After conducting a season of Russian ballet in London at the Royal Opera House he found refuge in Switzerland, where he remained during the Second World War. Prohibited from conducting there, he earned a living as a pianist.
After the war, Solti was appointed musical director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in 1946. In 1952 he moved to the Frankfurt Opera, where he remained in charge for nine years. He took West German citizenship in 1953. In 1961 he became musical director of the Covent Garden Opera Company, London. During his ten-year tenure, he introduced changes that raised standards to the highest international levels. Under his musical directorship the status of the company was recognised with the grant of the title "the Royal Opera". He became a British citizen in 1972.
In 1969 Solti became music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a post he held for 22 years. He relinquished the position in 1991 and became the orchestra's music director laureate, a position he held until his death. Solti for the first time took the orchestra on several tours beyond North America, made multiple recordings, and ensured the CSO's artistic and financial well-being. During his time as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's eighth music director, he also served as music director of the Orchestre de Paris from 1972 until 1975 and principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1979 until 1983.
Known in his early years for the intensity of his music making, Solti was widely considered to have mellowed as a conductor in later years. He recorded many works two or three times at various stages of his career, and was a prolific recording artist, making more than 250 recordings, including 45 complete opera sets. The most famous of his recordings is probably Decca's complete set of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, made between 1958 and 1965 with the Vienna Philharmonic. Solti's Ring has twice been voted the greatest recording ever made, in polls for Gramophone magazine in 1999 and the BBC's Music Magazine in 2012. Solti was repeatedly honoured by the recording industry with awards throughout his career, including a record 31 Grammy Awards as a recording artist. In addition, Solti and producer John Culshaw received the first NARAS Trustees’ Award in 1967 for their “efforts, ingenuity, and artistic contributions” in connection with the first complete recording of Wagner’s Ring. Solti also received the Academy’s 1995 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (//; born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of the R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world's best-selling girl groups in history. Their hiatus saw Beyoncé's theatrical film debut in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and the release of her debut album, Dangerously in Love (2003). The album established her as a solo artist worldwide, earned five Grammy Awards, and featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".
Following the break-up of Destiny's Child in 2006, she released her second solo album, B'Day (2006), which contained the top-ten singles "Déjà Vu", "Irreplaceable", and "Beautiful Liar". Beyoncé also continued her acting career, with starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay-Z and portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the introduction of her alter-ego Sasha Fierce and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Beyoncé took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; her fourth album 4 (2011) was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop, and 1990s soul. Her critically acclaimed fifth album, Beyoncé (2013), was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes. Lemonade (2016) became the best-selling album of the year, and also received wide acclaim.
Throughout her career, Beyoncé has sold an estimated 100 million records as a solo artist, and a further 60 million records with the group Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists in history. She has won 22 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award's history. She is also the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Beyoncé as the Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s (decade). In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s (decade) and awarded her their Millennium Award in 2011. In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time's 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row. Forbes listed her as the most powerful female in entertainment of 2015 and 2017, and in 2016 she occupied the sixth place for Person of the Year.
Quincy Delightt Jones Jr. (born March 14, 1933), also known as "Q", is an American record producer, actor, conductor, arranger, composer, musician, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist, magazine founder, entertainment company executive, and humanitarian. His career spans six decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, and 28 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend Award in 1991.
Raised in Seattle, Washington, Jones developed interest in music at an early age, and attended the Berklee College of Music. He came to prominence in the 1950s as a jazz arranger and conductor, before moving on to work prolifically in pop music and film scores. In 1968, Jones and his songwriting partner, Bob Russell, became the first African Americans to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, their selection "The Eyes of Love" for the Universal Pictures film Banning. That same year, Jones was the first African American to be nominated twice within the same year for an Academy Award for Best Original Score, as he was also nominated for his work on the 1967 film In Cold Blood. In 1971, Jones was the first African American to be named as the musical director and conductor of the Academy Awards ceremony. In 1995, he was the first African American to receive the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He is tied with sound designer Willie D. Burton as the African American who has been nominated for the most Oscars; each has received seven nominations.
Jones was the producer, with Michael Jackson, of Jackson's albums Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), and Bad (1987), as well as the producer and conductor of the 1985 charity song "We Are the World," which raised funds for victims of destitution in Ethiopia.
In 2013, Jones was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as the winner, alongside Lou Adler, of the Ahmet Ertegun Award. Among his awards, Jones was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.