Longtime Music and Television Producer Celebrates 35 Years of Producing Music’s Biggest Night®
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Dec. 2, 2014) — Veteran music and television producer Ken Ehrlich will executive produce and write the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, it was announced today by The Recording Academy®. The 57th GRAMMY Awards marks Ehrlich’s 35th year as a producer of Music’s Biggest Night®. The telecast will take place live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, and will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT. For updates and breaking news, please visit GRAMMY.com and The Recording Academy’s social networks on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Additionally, Ehrlich and his production company AEG Ehrlich Ventures (the partnership between Ehrlich and AEG, the Los Angeles-based entertainment sports and venue management company) will produce the 58th and 59th GRAMMY Awards, as well as the upcoming one-hour entertainment special “A Very GRAMMY Christmas,” which will include performances of holiday songs and current pop hits, as well as artists sharing their favorite holiday and GRAMMY memories. The road to Music’s Biggest Night begins with “A Very GRAMMY Christmas” — which airs Friday, Dec. 5, and will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network from 9 – 10 p.m. ET/PT — and culminates with the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
“Ken’s vast knowledge and genuine love of music, as well as his expertise and vision, have made him an outstanding producer — and ultimately the executive producer — of the GRAMMY Awards for 35 years now,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “As one of the key architects of our signature ‘GRAMMY Moments,’ he continues to elevate the content, quality, and production value of our annual telecast. We couldn’t be more pleased to continue our long-standing partnership and, more importantly, I am proud to call him my good friend.”
“I consider it an honor to have been associated with the GRAMMY Awards and CBS for so many years, and to be able to continue this relationship over the next three years,” said Ehrlich. “I am proud of the standard of excellence that the GRAMMYs have maintained over the years, and particularly proud of the audience successes and critical acclaim the show has garnered in the years since Neil Portnow, Leslie Moonves, Nina Tassler, Jack Sussman and I have become partners in presenting Music’s Biggest Night.”
“For over three decades, as the conductor of Music’s Biggest Night, Ken has exceeded expectations and manages to create bigger and better event television each passing year,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment. “He is, without a doubt, the hardest working man in show business and his passion for music and artists is reflected in his work. All of us at CBS value our partnership with Ken immensely, and we consider it a true privilege to work with him.”
Ehrlich and his company produced the recent “The Beatles: The Night That Changed America — A GRAMMY Salute,” a two-and-a-half-hour special that celebrated the remarkable legacy of the seven-time GRAMMY-winning group. The special aired on CBS on Feb. 9, 2014, exactly 50 years to the day, date and time of the Beatles’ groundbreaking first performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He also produced the “We Will Always Love You: A GRAMMY Salute To Whitney Houston” special that aired on CBS in November 2012; “My Night At The GRAMMYs,” a two-hour special in 2007 that highlighted the top 25 GRAMMY Moments as voted by fans, and included artists’ stories behind those performances; as well as “A Death In The Family: The Show Must Go On,” a mini-documentary about the 36 hours leading up to the 54th GRAMMY Awards that aired on CBS in February 2013, the night before the 55th GRAMMY Awards telecast.
From his earliest days in television as the producer/creator of the award-winning public television series “Soundstage,” Ehrlich has continually been on the cutting edge of live music and television programming. As the creator of the “GRAMMY Moment” — unique, signature duets and group performances on the annual GRAMMY Awards telecast — he has coordinated remarkable artist pairings, including Eminem and Elton John; Prince and Beyoncé; Jay Z, Paul McCartney and Linkin Park; Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone; the Gorillaz (holographic) and Madonna; Chick Corea and Foo Fighters; Dave Grohl, McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Joe Walsh; the Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan and Mumford & Sons; Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Sting; Metallica and Lang Lang; Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons; Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Blake Shelton; Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, and Stevie Wonder; and the very first “GRAMMY Moment” with Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, who performed “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” at the 22nd GRAMMY Awards in 1980.
In his more than 35 years as a producer, Ehrlich has worked on numerous award shows and live events and has introduced innovative concepts for network, cable, and syndication shows, including: the Emmy Awards (six telecasts), the MTV Movie Awards (which he created in 1992), the MTV European Music Awards, the Latin GRAMMY Awards, the Alma Awards, “VH1 Divas,” “Fashion Rocks,” and “Women Rock: Girls With Guitars,” among others. He also has produced dozens of artist specials for broadcast and cable networks, including shows with Christina Aguilera, Eric Clapton, Eagles, Aretha Franklin, Faith Hill, Barry Manilow, Ricky Martin, ‘N Sync, Paul Simon, and dozens of others. In 2007 he was honored by the Producers Guild of America with the Visionary Award, and beginning in 2010, he began executive producing music specials for the “In Performance At The White House” PBS series, including a special celebrating the music of the civil rights movement (featuring Bob Dylan’s first appearance ever at the White House), and a blues special that featured performances by Buddy Guy, B.B. King, and Mick Jagger (also marking the latter’s first time in the White House). In 2011, he directed his first Las Vegas show, featuring Celine Dion, which is currently in the fourth year of an extended run at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Ehrlich’s association with the GRAMMYs began in 1980 with the 22nd Annual GRAMMY Awards, when then- executive producer Pierre Cossette asked Ehrlich to produce the then-two-hour show that was in its eighth year on CBS. Since that time, the show has expanded to three and a half hours and has become one of television’s most highly anticipated live events annually. Its ratings have continued to be among the highest in the live event spectrum with this year’s 56th GRAMMY Awards ultimately garnering more than 30 million viewers — the second-largest audience for the awards broadcast since 1993. The telecast also was the biggest social television event at the time, with 34 million social media interactions (with statistics compiled by Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter). The annual GRAMMY Awards telecast has been nominated for 66 Emmy Awards in a number of categories and has won 22 Emmys.
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, like “The GRAMMYs” on Facebook, and join the GRAMMYs’ social communities on Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube.