John Prine Receives Special Tribute in Grammy Salute to Legends

On Friday evening, October 16th, PBS will air the presentation of the Grammy’s special merit awards under the title, “Grammy Salute to Music Legends” as part of the Great Performances program. Taking place this year with no audience due to COVID-19, the two-hour presentation taped live at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and other locations is where the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Awards and other special honors are handed out.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement recipients include the band Chicago, Roberta Flack, Iggy Pop, Isaac Hayes, Sam Moore, Public Enemy, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and John Prine. Many musical performances will happen, including Yola paying tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe. There will also be a strong country music tie-in to the presentation when Chris Isaak sings “Your Cheatin’ Heart” made famous by Hank Williams, who was discovered in part by talent scout Frank Walker, who is also paid tribute during the event.

But most notably and poignantly, the Grammy Awards broke with the tradition of ending the presentation on a high note, and instead conclude with a stirring tribute to John Prine, who passed away due to complications from COVID-19 in April. Along with capping off the event, Prine’s segment runs almost twice as long as any other tribute—a full 18 minutes to end the show.

Participating in the John Prine tribute are Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, who perform the Prine classic “Storm Windows,” and Brandi Carlile performing the final song Prine ever recorded, “I Remember Everything.” There’s also vintage clips of Prine performing on TV, both solo, and with longtime friend Bonnie Raitt.

Whether you intend to watch the whole thing, or just tune in or DVR the ending, it’s worth checking out.

Check local PBS listings for the airing time of “Great Performances-Grammy Salute to Music Legends 2020.” Most stations air at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 Central.

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