Kevork Djansezian/WireImage.comA PBS special featuring highlights of the Grammy Salute to Music Legends event that celebrated the Recording Academy’s 2016 Special Merit Award winners will premiere Friday, October 14, at 9 p.m. as an episode of the network’s long-running series Great Performances. The show, which took place on April 23 at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, included musical tributes to Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Earth, Wind & Fire, Linda Ronstadt, Jefferson Airplane and other notable artists and music-industry figures.

During the event, Earth, Wind & Fire’s current lineup played a medley of the group’s hits, while acclaimed songwriter J.D. Souther and country star Martina McBride helped salute Ronstadt. In addition, founding Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady teamed with current Jefferson Starship singer Cathy Richardson to perform a few Airplane songs. Longtime Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick attended the gala but did not perform with her old band mates.

Among the many other performers were Kris Kristofferson, jazz great Herbie Hancock, veteran roots artist Ry Cooder, gospel singer Patti Austin, rap group Naughty by Nature and more.

Besides Earth, Wind & Fire, Ronstadt and Jefferson Airplane, this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winners included Hancock, hip-hop pioneers Run-DMC, late R&B singer Ruth Brown and late salsa legend Celia Cruz.

The gala also featured salutes to the 2016 winners of the Trustees Awards, Technical Grammy Awards and Grammy Foundation Music Educator Awards.

For more details about the Grammy Salute to Music Legends special, visit

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