Fans of old-school hip hop are in for a treat at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards when Run-DMC takes the stage with their previous collaborators Aerosmith. The 1986 Run-DMC cover of Aerosmith’s 1975 single “Walk This Way” actually out-sold and out-chartered the original and gave a boost to both band’s careers in the mid-1980s. They are going to tear up the Grammys stage with this reunion performance.
Run-DMC is a Past Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
In 2016, the Recording Academy honored this hip hop trio with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Run-DMC was founded in 1983 by Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell. Sadly, Mizell died in 2002 when he was shot in the Merrick Boulevard recording studio in Queens. There have been several people questioned about their involvement in the murder over the years but Mizell’s death remains unsolved.
But their stamp on music history will never be erased. Run-DMC’s 1984self-titled album made them the first hip hop group to chart a Gold record, which then they followed up with the 1985 Platinum record King of Rock, making them the first hip hop group to ever notch that achievement as well.
They were also the first hip hop group to have its music videos broadcast on MTV, the first hip hop group to appear on American Bandstand, the first to perform at Live Aid and the first to be nominated for a Grammy Award, the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1986. In 2009, Run-DMC became the second hip hop group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the first being Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five in 2007.
Aerosmith Is the Grammys’ 2020 MusiCares Artist of the Year
Run-DMC is performing with Aerosmith because the legendary rock band is being honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year. The band is “being recognized for their considerable philanthropic efforts over five decades and undeniable impact on American music history.”
This marks the band’s fifth Grammy award. They previously won Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal four times, for “Janie’s Got a Gun” in 1991, for “Livin’ on the Edge” in 1994, for “Crazy” in 1995, and for “Pink” in 1999. They have 13 other Grammy nominations to their name, plus five Billboard Music Award nominations (winning four), nine American Music Award nominations (winning six), and a whopping 36 MTV Video Music Award nominations (winning 10).
Ahead of the 2020 Grammy Awards, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler spoke with People about their legendary collaboration with Run-DMC, calling it “magical” and a reinvigoration for Aerosmith’s career.
“It wound up being so magical,” says Tyler. “Then [the director] Jon Small, who gets little to no credit, came up to me and said, ‘I got a really good idea for this. Why don’t we put Run-DMC on one side, Aerosmith on the other side, and there’ll be a wall, and we’ll cut out a piece in the wall.’ The whole idea was to show that rock and roll and rap could live together. It was a giant step outside anybody’s mind at MTV. That video was the whole thing. For us to be involved in that was just a miracle. It was without a doubt the second step of our career.”
The 2020 Grammy Awards air live Sunday, January 26 beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS, hosted for the second year in a row by Alicia Keys.