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Legendary Gospel Soloist George Beverly Shea to Receive Lifetime Achievement Grammy

“America’s Beloved Gospel Singer” and longtime Billy Graham Crusade soloist George Beverly Shea received an early Christmas present this year, learning last week that The Recording Academy has decided to honor him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in conjunction with the 2011 GRAMMY Awards.

Bev Shea singing

“I was surprised to receive the call from The Recording Academy president before Christmas and am honored for the recognition,” Shea said. “The music has been for God’s glory.”

According to a news release from A. Larry Ross Communications, Shea, who will turn 102 years-old the week before receiving this honor, is among the oldest living persons to be honored by The Recording Academy. He is still performing publicly, having sung at several Christmas concerts near his home in Asheville, N.C.

Last month, he joined longtime colleagues Billy Graham and Cliff Barrows at an event in Charlotte celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Over his musical and ministry career spanning more than 80 years, Shea has produced more than 70 albums of hymns, including nine CDs, with RCA and Word Records. He has already received ten nominations and one Grammy Award (1965) from The Recording Academy.

Bev Shea singing with Cliff Barrow (left) and Billy and Franklin Graham looking on
(Photo: Dan Wooding)

Shea’s 2011 Special Merit Award co-recipients are Julie Andrews, Roy Haynes, the Juilliard String Quartet, the Kingston Trio, Dolly Parton and the Ramones. According to The Recording Academy’s website (www.grammy.com),  the Lifetime Achievement Award honors lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium, and is determined by vote of The Recording Academy’s National Board of Trustees.

“It is a great honor to recognize and celebrate such a distinguished and dynamic group of honorees who have been the creators of such timeless art,” said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. “These influential performers and brilliant innovators have been of great inspiration to our culture and industry. Their legendary work has left a lasting impression and will continue to influence generations to come.”

The award recipients will be honored at a special invitation-only ceremony during GRAMMY Week on Feb. 12, 2011, and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, which will be broadcast live on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.

Note to Editors: For more information or to arrange an interview with George Beverly Shea, please contact Melany Ethridge of A. Larry Ross Communications at (972) 267-1111 or via email at Melany@alarryross.com.

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