'Push It' and Prosper at the 2021 Grammys: Salt-N-Pepa Among Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Salt-N-Pepa perform during the NGV Gala 2019 on November 30, 2019.
Salt-N-Pepa perform during the NGV Gala 2019 on November 30, 2019.
Photo: Naomi Rahim/Getty Images for NGV (Getty Images)

The Recording Academy has now made their official announcement for 2021’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients!


Earlier this month, Rahiem from the Furious Five revealed that Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five will be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Grammys.

On Tuesday morning, the Recording Academy officially confirmed that Salt-N-Pepa and legendary jazz musician Lionel Hampton (posthumously) are the Black folks added to the acclaimed list, along with the Furious Five. Additionally, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and saxophonist Benny Golson will be honored with the Trustees Award at the ceremony.

“As we welcome the new class of Special Merit Award honorees, it gives us a chance to reward and recognize the influence they’ve had in the music community regardless of genre,” Harvey Mason jr., Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy said in a statement. “As a music creator and music lover, I am grateful that we are able to look back at our influences and see the impact that they have made on our community. In a year where music has helped keep us together, I look forward to honoring this iconic group of music creators.”

More info about the Black recipients via the Recording Academy’s official press release sent to The Root:

Formed in the South Bronx of New York City in 1978, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five are among the pioneers of hip-hop. The group’s use of turntablism, break-beat deejaying, choreographed stage routines, and lyricism was a significant force in the early development of the genre.

Lionel Hampton started his career as a drummer in Chicago in the 1920s before he played the vibraphone with Louis Armstrong. In the 1930s, he broke barriers with the Benny Goodman Quartet, one of the first integrated jazz bands in America. In the 1940s, he formed his own Lionel Hampton Orchestra, which became one of the longest running orchestras in jazz history.

As one of the first all-female rap groups, Salt-N-Pepa broke down a number of doors for women in hip-hop. Formed in Queens, New York, in 1985, the group crafted hits such as “Push It,” “Shoop,” “Whatta Man,” and the GRAMMY-winning “None Of Your Business.” They were also one of the first rap artists to crossover, laying the groundwork for the hip-hop’s widespread popularity in the early ‘90s.

Benny Golson is an international jazz legend who has composed more than 300 works over his 70-year career. He has composed and arranged music for artists such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, and Lionel Hampton, and is the only living artist to write eight jazz standards. His prolific writing also includes scores for many hit TV series and films.

 Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds is a poignant tunesmith, prolific producer, superstar recording artist, and revolutionary label owner. An 11-time GRAMMY winner, including a record four Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical awards, Babyface has been instrumental in the careers of artists such as Toni Braxton, Usher and TLC and has crafted hundreds of pop and R&B hits with artists including Whitney Houston, the Whispers, Brandy, Boyz II Men, Madonna, and Eric Clapton.


Congrats to the recipients—well deserved! The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards will take place on Jan. 31. Due to circumstances caused by the global pandemic, more details about the special ceremony will be announced at a later date.

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.



Just when Black folks are done with the Grammys, they find a way to sucker us back in.