The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® once again presented its highly anticipated GRAMMY® Week celebration on Wednesday, Jan. 22,. Held at The Village Studios in West Los Angeles, the event, now in its 13th year, marked the official start of GRAMMY Week, which culminated with the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards® on Sunday, Jan. 26, airing live on the CBS Television Network.
This year's gathering featured the presentation of the President's Merit Award to Dr. Dre, recognizing both his commitment to creative and sonic excellence and his ongoing support for the art and craft of recorded music. The six-time GRAMMY-winning artist is now added to the decade-plus list of honorees chosen for their singular contributions to music production, including, among others: Quincy Jones, Alicia Keys, Willie Nelson, Nile Rodgers, Rick Rubin, Al Schmitt, Swizz Beatz, T Bone Burnett, Neil Young and Jack White. The event also acknowledges the overall industry contributions of the Producers & Engineers Wing's more than 6,000 members.
Music industry luminaries and GRAMMY nominees and winners packed this star-studded evening, including Marcella Araica, Peter Asher, Joe Chiccarelli, Mike Clink, Bootsy Collins, Jimmy Douglass, Dave Haywood (Lady Antebellum), Ross Hogarth, Leslie Ann Jones, Quincy Jones, Emily Lazar, Lisa Loeb, Chris Lord-Alge, Gavin Lurssen, CJ Vanston and a host of others.
Village Studios CEO Jeff Greenberg began the program by welcoming attendees, after which Maureen Droney, Recording Academy Sr. Managing Director, Producers & Engineers Wing, offered remarks on the event and thanked the evening's sponsors. P&E Wing Steering Committee Co-Chair Ivan Barias highlighted the accomplishments of the P&E Wing and its members. Interim Recording Academy President & CEO Harvey Mason Jr. introduced previous P&E Wing honoree Jimmy Iovine, a famous longtime business partner and close friend of Dr. Dre. Iovine spoke on Dre's work ethic and accomplishments and hugged his friend as he took the stage to accept the award from Mason.
Iovine's remarks went all the way back to his first impressions of Dre as an artist, decades ago: "I knew one thing: this music doesn't sound like anything else." He reflected further on their close relationship in the years since: "There's only one thing he does better than producing records, and that’s being a friend and a partner."
Dr. Dre remarked, "I'd like to thank the Recording Academy for bestowing this honor upon me but more importantly, highlighting producers and engineers, which is extremely big to me. There are more than 6,000 members who are committed at the highest level of creativity and technical ability, and it’s an honor to be included in that group."
Dre then introduced Anderson .Paak, who is signed to Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, who delivered a 20-minute powerhouse set with his band the Free Nationals to top off the night.
The event was sponsored by leading companies and organizations from the entertainment and music sector. Iron Mountain Entertainment Services served as Premier Sponsor for the event. Iron Mountain's involvement is an extension of its ongoing year-round partnership with the P&E Wing. Other industry supporters of the gala evening included Amazon Music HD; Jaxsta and Shure; Music Marketing (represented brands: Celemony, FabFilter, NUGEN Audio); L-Acoustics; Audio-Technica U.S.; Fraunhofer USA; SoundExchange; iZotope; AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund; Lurssen Mastering; Roland Corporation U.S.; Genelec; and the Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services' The Recording Studio Insurance Program.