LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson won yet another posthumous honor on Saturday, joining six other musicians including Leonard Cohen and Loretta Lynn who received Grammy awards for lifetime achievement.
But Jackson’s family, whose members rarely turn down an opportunity to share his spotlight, did not attend the ceremony at the Wilshire Ebell Theater, despite speculation that some of his children might accept the statuette on his behalf.
Instead, Jackson’s former manager, Frank DiLeo, did the honors, describing the pop star as “a funny guy, he had a sense of humor like none of you ever knew.”
Jackson, who died of a drug overdose last year, aged 50, won 13 Grammys in his lifetime.
An unshaved Cohen, sporting a fedora and bolo tie, wryly noted that he never won a Grammy for any of his recordings.
“As we make our way toward the finish line that some of us have already crossed, I never thought I’d get a Grammy award. In fact, I was always touched by the modesty of their interest,” he said to loud applause.
The 75-year-old Canadian folk poet did receive a Grammy two years ago as one of the featured artists on Herbie Hancock’s surprise album of the year winner.
As a bonus, he recited the lyrics of his comic tune “The Tower of Song” featuring such lines as “I was born like this, I had no choice. I was born with the gift of a golden voice.”
Bobby Darin, the man behind such hits as “Mack the Knife” and “Splish Splash,” was another posthumous winner. The award was accepted by his son, Dodd, who tearfully recalled that his father knew “he wouldn’t be around for the long haul.”
Bobby Darin, who had been born with a heart defect, died after surgery in 1973 when he was 37 and his only son 12.
Noting that his father would be 73 now, Dodd Darin told Reuters that his father could have followed a similar trajectory to Tony Bennett, “connecting with 25-year-olds.”
“Had he lived I think he would be performing and producing other artists. He loved music. I think he’d still be very active. He never had any quit in him,” he said.
Age was also no impediment for another honoree, 95-year-old blues guitarist David “Honeyboy” Edwards, who just completed a European tour. “I can still knock ‘em dead,” he said.
Another veteran, 89-year-old jazz trumpeter Clark Terry was also honored.
Country star Loretta Lynn, marking her 50th anniversary in the music business this year, was a last-minute no-show because her brother was ill. The award was accepted by her twin daughters, Peggy and Patsy Lynn.
Classical pianist, conductor and composer Andre Previn was prevented by ill-health from accepting his award, but sent in a video message.
Reporting by Dean Goodman, editing by Anthony Boadle