As part of the evening's celebration, the 2012 GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons will honor Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson. The Recording Academy will present Branson with the President's Merit Award in recognition of his significant contributions to the music industry and the impact his efforts have had on music and the business of music. Past recipients of the GRAMMY Salute To Industry Icons President's Merit Award include Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, Clive Davis, Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, Berry Gordy, Doug Morris, and Mo Ostin.
"The Pre-GRAMMY Gala is a special night, with the legendary Clive Davis hosting an exclusive evening of music, memorable performances and stories — the perfect precursor to Music's Biggest Night," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "This year we are thrilled to honor extraordinary entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, whose contributions to the music industry began with a record store in London and grew into a global empire. His iconic Virgin brand is synonymous with excellence and continues to draw consumers on numerous platforms from around the world."
The Pre-GRAMMY Gala is part of the GRAMMY Week series of events, culminating with Music's Biggest Night. The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place on Sunday, Feb. 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).