The National Guitar Museum has announced that Bonnie Raitt, one of the most accomplished guitarists of the past 50 years, will receive its annual Lifetime Achievement Award. Raitt is only the eighth recipient of the award.
Raitt’s musicianship spans four decades of popular music, from gritty blues to chart-topping pop and rock. “There has not been a more visible female player of the electric guitar in history,” according to HP Newquist, the executive director of The National Guitar Museum. “Bonnie’s extraordinary skill and her inherent passion for electric blues – along with her mastery of slide guitar, one of the most difficult musical styles to play well – are second to none in modern guitar. She is both an icon and an inspiration, and we’re honored to be able to recognize Bonnie’s contribution to the guitar with this award.”
“I’m so honored to be receiving this Lifetime Achievement award from the National Guitar Museum,” said Ms. Raitt. “It’s an instrument I fell in love with when I was nine years old and taught myself from records. I love playing slide guitar and am so glad to be part of a tradition that is encouraging people to keep the blues alive and keep roots music vital and important. If people like me have been inspirations for young people, especially girls, picking up the instrument, I’m very proud. Thank you all so much for this honor.”
In addition to her stellar guitar playing, Raitt is known the world over for her singing, songwriting, and active support of notable causes. As a solo artist, she has received 10 Grammy Awards, reached multi-platinum album status, and released 20 albums – the most recent of which is Dig In Deep. She will be touring the United States this year with James Taylor & His All-Star Band.
The National Guitar Museum (NGM) is the first museum in the United States dedicated to the history, evolution, and cultural impact of the guitar. Its touring exhibition, “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World” debuted in 2011 and is currently on display at the Forth Worth Museum of Science & History in Fort Worth, Texas. The NGM is also curating an art exhibit at The Vero Beach Museum in Florida from now until May 6.
Bonnie Raitt joins previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients:
2010: David Honeyboy Edwards
2011: Roger McGuinn of The Byrds
2012: B.B. King
2013: Vic Flick
2014: Buddy Guy
2015: Tony Iommi
2016: Glen Campbell
The Museum’s Board of Advisors is comprised of guitar greats Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Howe, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa, Liona Boyd, Tony Iommi, and Al di Meola.