Even though Led Zeppelin are one of the best-selling rock bands in history (the technically untitled Led Zeppelin IV is among the handful of records that have sold more than 20 million copies in the U.S.), the critics have never really liked ’em. Be it Robert Plant’s screeching vocals, Jimmy Page’s self-indulgent guitar solos or the band’s pilfering of classic American blues, the Zep didn’t receive the greatest reviews in their day and shockingly, never won a Grammy Award (though Robert Plant and Jimmy Page won for Best hard Rock Performance in 1998 for their relatively lame “Most High”).
Led Zeppelin will get their just desserts this February when they’ll be given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Grammy peeps. The awards are given annually to “profoundly inspiring figures” who were “legendary performers and archetypal musicians and cultural ambassadors.”
The other recipients this year are made up of your usual list of rock icons, genre legends and behind-the-scenes types. The other high profile classic rockers to be honoured this year are Janis Joplin and Jerry Lee Lewis. Other lifers include jazz favourites Jelly Roll Morton and Art Blakey, country greats Eddy Arnold and The Carter Family, blue types The Staple Singers and Pinetop Perkins, songwriter Hoagy Carmichael, Soul Train creator Don Cornelius and Blue Note Records founder Billy Taylor.
Unfortunately, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin still won’t get to make a triumphant televised speech – the Lifetime Achievement Awards are actually handed out on February 12, the night before the televised Grammy Awards. The proper Awards will take place on February 13 at Los Angeles’ Staples Centre. Rapper Kanye West is favoured to take home the bulk of the hardware.