Hey, We Got Your Icons Over Here…

Chuck Berry

By Walter Price

There are several meanings for the word ‘icon’ and I still haven’t decided which one fits for what happened on 24 November 2013 at The American Music Awards.

This year, The 41st AMA producers came up with a new little award called ‘ICON AWARD’ and it promptly went to mega-pop-star Rihanna. At the wise ole age of 25.

“Icon Award was created to honor an artist whose body of work has made a profound influence over pop music on a global level” – Larry Klein (AMA Producer)

Thanks Larry, that helps me out a bit. Rihanna will bring the ratings! Got it and fully understand the need to succeed in the TV ratings game. But what it doesn’t bring you or your ‘awards’ program is respect or legitimacy among people over the age of, lets just say, 26. 

I think it more valuable in the long run if programs such as yours helped educate and preserve the legacy of true musical ground-breakers. Artists who’ve been out there building strong backs for these dime a dozen sound alike pop-tarts to stand on. 

I do admit I hum along to that “Umbrella” ditty by Rihanna (ft Jay-Z) but that isn’t the point and I have no idea why I wanted to mention it. I move on…

So, Mr. Klein and all other awards show producers of the world, please let me offer a few names to consider for the next ‘icon’ or ‘lifetime achievement’ award(s). And please provide 3 minutes of your programs time to honor some of the real musical excellence that is or has been out there writing the songs, playing the circuits and honestly creating the influential sounds that have or will change music forever. 

Consider these names (In No Particular Order):

Willie Nelson, Chuck Berry, Toni Iommi, Glen Hansard, Merle Haggard, Morrissey, Lemmy Kilmister, Brian Wilson, Elton John, Charlie Daniels, Gregg Allman, Michael McDonald, Don McLean, Cat Stevens, Slim Cessna, Brian Setzer, Nick Cave, Johnny Marr, Jeff Beck, Geezer Butler, Don Williams, Johnny Lee, Mike Ness, Robert Plant, Ian McCulloch, Terry Lee Hale, Robert Earl Keen, Paul Stanley, Don Henley/Glenn Frey, Dolly Parton, Jimmy Webb, Alan Jackson, John Prine, Suzanne Vega, George Strait, Bernie Taupin, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, ABBA, Diana Ross, Roger Creager, Adam Duritz, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Ian Astbury, Dwight Yoakam, Paul McCartney, Skip Spence, Fleetwood Mac, Flea/Anthony Kiedis, Metalica, Bruce Springsteen, Ginger Baker, Robert Smith, Keely Smith, Stevie Wonder, Alice Cooper, Mark Knopfler, David Bowie, Tanya Tucker, Kate Bush, Kinky Friedman, Steve Earle, Michael Stipe, Al Kooper, Bjork, Dave Stewart, Thurston Moore/Kim Gordon…You get the Idea.

There are at least a thousand more names just like these that should be considered for your ‘Icon’ or what have you awards. Why? They have actually earned the respect and should have a place on your stages.

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