The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by vote of the Recording Academy's National Trustees. According to the Grammy website, those honored have "made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording."
"This year's Special Merit Awards recipients are a prestigious group of diverse and influential creators who have crafted or contributed to some of the most distinctive recordings in music history," Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy said in a statement. "These exceptionally inspiring figures are being honored as legendary performers, creative architects and technical visionaries. Their outstanding accomplishments and passion for their craft have created a timeless legacy."