Herbie Hancock and Jefferson Airplane win Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards

Herbie Hancock with his awards at the 2003 Grammy Awards
Herbie Hancock with his awards at the 2003 Grammy Awards

Jazz legend Herbie Hancock and 1960s countercultural icons Jefferson Airplane will be among the latest recipients of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Recording Academy announced Wednesday.

The award is given annually to artists who contributed significantly to the recording industry and the broader culture.

The new winners will be honored with a concert sometime in early 2016 separate from the February 15 ceremony of the Grammy Awards, the US music industry's most prestigious prize.

Hancock, 75, is one of the most celebrated living jazz artists. A pianist as well as composer, he revitalized rhythm sections to bring a new sense of melody.


Hancock has won 14 Grammy Awards over his five-decade career, which has included crossover hits into pop.

Jefferson Airplane helped create the psychedelic sound of the 1960s, with lasting hits such as White Rabbit and Somebody to Love.

Bringing a harder rock edge to folk music, Jefferson Airplane offered anthems for the 1967 Summer in Love in the band's hometown San Francisco and performed at the era's defining festivals of Monterey and Woodstock.

Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane dies

Other recipients of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award include Celia Cruz, the late Cuban salsa singer who was one of the 20th century's leading artists in Latin America, and Queen of R&B Ruth Brown, who brought a new audience to the genre with a string of hits in the 1950s.

The other recipients are Earth, Wind and Fire, who became widely popular by bringing a wider pop audience to R&B; Run-DMC, who were among the pioneers of hip-hop in 1980s New York, and singer Linda Ronstadt, who has won 10 Grammys over a career that has taken her from pop to rock and across many other genres.

The Recording Academy also named the latest recipients of its Trustee Award, which recognizes career achievements outside of performance.

This year's winners will include the late John Cage, one of the leading US modernist composers of the 20th century.