The world takes dance music a bit more seriously today as the genre won big last night at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards. Daft Punk brought dance music to primetime with even Paul McCartney on his feet dancing in addition to winning all five of the categories that they were nominated for. But that's not all. Revolutionary electronic band Kraftwerk received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for their contributions to the recording field at a special ceremony the night prior to the award show. The German techno pioneers have influenced everyone from David Bowie to Daft Punk and were honored in addition to six other recipients, including The Beatles and the Isley Brothers.
The artists, songs and albums that receive Grammy Awards tend to be among the most commercially successful in the year leading up to the annual awards ceremony. But a different set of criteria govern the Recording Academy's special merit awards, announced in advance of the prestigious event.
Neil Portnow, the head of the Recording Academy said of the Award winners, "This astoundingly unique and gifted group have created some of the most distinguished and influential work in our musical history. Their legacies are timeless and legendary, and their creativity will continue to influence and inspire future generations."
While the list of artists who say they have drawn on Kraftwerk's work as a point of reference is nearly endless, the Recording Academy also recognized the group's boundary-pushing use of music technology. Throughout their career, Kraftwerk have pushed the limits of music technology with some notable innovations, such as self-made instruments and custom built devices.
Kraftwerk’s founding member Ralf Hütter used some of the lyrics to “The Robots” to accept their award:
“We’re charging our battery / And now we’re full of energy
We’re functioning automatic /And we are dancing mechanic
We are programmed just to do / Anything you want us to
We are the robots. Thank you.”
Kraftwerk's honor comes just a month and a half before the group is scheduled to perform each of their albums over the course of a eight-concert residency at Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall.