The Recording Academy will once again hold its pre-Grammy Gala the night prior to the annual awards show this January, where they will honor rapper JAY-Z as this year's Salute To Industry Icons Award winner, the organization announced on Tuesday. The 4:44 rapper will presumably be on site to accept the award at The Sheraton in New York City’s Times Square on Saturday, Jan. 27.
Jay, who has already taken home 21 Grammys since his career began in 1996, will join an impressive and exclusive list of previous Industry Icon Award winners, including Sir Richard Branson, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun and Motown founder Berry Gordy. The award certainly has to be a feel-good moment for the 47-year-old artist, who grew up right right across the river in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn. Jay has never been shy about detailing the poverty and crime that filled the Marcy Projects where he spent his formative years, and has used his childhood environment as motivation throughout his incredibly successful career as both an artist and businessman.
“[His] contributions as an industry trailblazer and music visionary only begin to touch on the tremendous impact he's made both in entertainment and beyond," Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said about this year’s honoree in a statement. "Jay Z also embodies the vibrant spirit of New York City and we couldn't imagine a more fitting honoree as we return to Manhattan for this year's Grammy Awards."
The 60th annual Grammy Awards will take place the following night at Madison Square Garden. James Corden is set to come on as the host for this year’s award show, which is taking place outside of Los Angeles for the first time since 2003. The 2018 Grammy nominees have not yet been announced, and will be revealed in a few weeks on Nov. 28.
JAY-Z’s last Grammy win came in 2014, when he took home a golden gramophone in the Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song categories for “Drunk In Love” with Beyoncé. He also made history earlier this year when he became the first rapper ever to be inducted in the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame, where he even received a personal congratulations from former President Barack Obama.