'This Christmas' and the Next: Donny Hathaway to Receive Posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Donny Hathaway
Screenshot: YouTube

This Christmas season was a very special one for Donny Hathaway’s fans.

According to Vibe, the Recording Academy will honor Hathaway with a Lifetime Achievement Award, just in time for the 40th anniversary of the late soul singer’s death.

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The Academy announced the recipients on Dec. 19.

“Each year, the Recording Academy has the distinct privilege of celebrating music industry giants who have greatly contributed to our cultural heritage,” noted Recording Academy President and CEO, Neil Portnow, via Business Wire. “This year, we have a gifted and brilliant group of honorees and their exceptional accomplishments, contributions, and artistry will continue to influence and inspire generations to come.”

The Chicago native recorded classic hits such as “Someday We’ll All Be Free,” “A Song For You,” and “This Christmas,” the latter of which has the power to actually commence black folks’ holiday season. Hathaway was found dead on January 13, 1979 outside of the Essex House hotel in New York and the incident was ruled a suicide.

From the Grammy website:

Donny Hathaway was a versatile soul stylist who built his legend singing both urban protest songs as well as smooth, signature duets with the likes of Roberta Flack, despite his far-too-short career.

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The Academy will also be giving folks their flowers while they’re here with Dionne Warwick and George Clinton & Parliament also receiving lifetime achievement honors. Other honorees include Black Sabbath, Julio Iglesias, Billy Eckstine and Sam & Dave.

The 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will broadcast on February 10, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. A special presentation for the lifetime achievement awards will be held on May 11, 2019.

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Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.