Video: 2010 Grammys Award Leonard Cohen 30 Seconds Of Faint Praise For Lifetime Of Superb Achievement


Well, At Least They Didn’t Take Back The Award

I confess that the headline, “Grammys Award Leonard Cohen 30 Seconds Of Faint Praise For Lifetime Of Spectacular Achievement,” is misleadingly exaggerated.

If one subtracts the time taken by applause, the official commendation of Leonard Cohen at the 2010 Grammy Awards Show was efficiently and  fully executed in 19 seconds.

In making that 19 second announcement of Leonard Cohen’s Lifetime Achievement Award, however, Seal invoked the full majesty, authority, and prestige  of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States with an impressively vapid,  cliched, and immediately forgettable acknowledgment of Leonard Cohen’s extraordinary forty year career as a singer-songwriter.

OK, on reviewing that last sentence, I see I am again guilty of unfairly and inaccurately twisting what was actually said. Viewers who carefully watch the video of this event will find that the central thesis of Seal’s impressively vapid, cliched, and instantly forgettable declaration had less to do with Cohen’s accomplishments than with the conceit that the decision to bestow the Lifetime Achievement Award upon Leonard Cohen was  to Seal’s liking, As an extra treat, Seal’s blessing of the award was augmented with the revelation that Seal’s personal favorite among Cohen’s songs is “Hallelujah.”

Leonard Cohen was not present to hear this adulation in person but was represented by a vapid, cliched, and instantly forgettable set of projected images (the astute reader may notice a trend here) that included the screen capture shown atop this post. The award was actually presented to Cohen during the ghettoized Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony the night before the major Grammy Awards Presentation Program.

Leonard Cohen Saluted at Grammy Awards
Jan 31, 2010

Because of the brevity of this event, the video has been set to loop four times. Nonetheless, viewers are well-advised to prepare themselves prior to clicking on the video’s start button and to steadfastly maintain focus once the screening begins. And, whatever you do – Don’t Blink.

Note: Originally posted Feb 5, 2010 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Jennifer Hudson’s Leonard Cohen Tribute Highlights Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Party


But the tributes to late musicians packed the night’s biggest punch. Davis took to the podium to honor his onetime Columbia Records artist Leonard Cohen, before introducing Jennifer Hudson. The Grammy winner, dressed in an ethereal white gown, delivered a powerhouse rendition of the singer/songwriter’s signature Hallelujah

From Jennifer Hudson’s rousing Leonard Cohen tribute steals Clive Davis party by Patrick Ryan , USA Today: Feb 12, 2018)

Credit Due Department: Photo by David Torcivia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons

Breaking News: Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah NOT To Be Used In Grammys In Memoriam Presentation


Perhaps the most convincing evidence that Hallelujah is the overwhelming favorite choice for indicating emotional significance in movies and television programs is a show making news by announcing that Leonard Cohen’s classic will NOT be used for an In Memoriam presentation. The following excerpt is from Inside Grammys Rehearsals: ‘I Hope It Will Be a Political Show,’ Producer Says by Steve Pond (The Wrap: Feb 10, 2017):

[Subtitle:] And Ken Ehrlich reveals why Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” will NOT play during In Memoriam segment

… And what about “Hallelujah,” the go-to song since that legendary songwriter’s passing in November? “I’d like to think that we’re kind of known for not doing things that are right on the money,” said Ehrlich. He declined to say that the song would never be heard, but said he had something else in the works for the In Memoriam montage.

“One Saturday I was listening to music and thinking about what we could do for In Memoriam, and ‘God Only Knows’ came on, and all of a sudden it hit me,” he said. “If you think of the words not in the context of lost love, but loss, it takes on a whole new meaning.

“So I went to John Legend and to Cynthia Erivo from [Broadway’s] ‘The Color Purple’ and said, ‘I’d like you to do the song out of tempo, slow.’ I’m telling you, it’s so beautiful. And yes, I’m sure some people will say, ‘Why didn’t they do “Hallelujah?”‘”

Credit Due Department: Photo by Dmileson, derivative work Dodro – Obra derivada: Ted Jensen’s 2002 Grammy.jpg, CC BY 4.0, via Wikipedia Commons

Leonard Cohen’s 1967 Album “Songs of Leonard Cohen” Inducted Into The Grammy Hall Of Fame

Songs_of_Leonard_CohenxLeonard Cohen’s 1967 Album “Songs of Leonard Cohen” is one of 27 recordings added into the Hall of Fame, which continues “the tradition of preserving and celebrating timeless recordings” and now totals 987 recordings.1

This excerpt from These Are The 27 Titles Being Inducted Into The Grammy Hall Of Fame by Hugh McIntyre (Forbes: Jan 18, 2015) explains the concept of inducting albums and songs into the Grammy Hall Of Fame:

Unknown to many people, the Grammys give out many different types of awards other than just the traditional golden gramophone we see celebrities accepting on TV. One such honor is the Hall of Fame, where the Recording Academy inducts albums and songs every year. This year, twenty seven new titles are being accepted into the institution’s growing list of famous names.

Like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, recordings must be at least 25 years old to be eligible, and they must have left a mark on the music industry—though that’s not to say they were all big hits. Titles are nominated and chosen by a special committee tasked specifically with the Hall of Fame. The songs and albums that have already been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame are on display at the Grammy Museum, which is located in Los Angeles.

Note: Originally posted December 16, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric


  1. Source: Records by Sex Pistols, Chic, Neil Young, Lou Reed added to Grammy Hall of Fame by Leonie Cooper (NME: Dec 16, 2014) []

Canada Day Post: Leonard Cohen Thanks Canada

Leonard Cohen’s gracious and eloquent expression of thanks to his homeland befits Canada Day. This quotation is from a speech Leonard Cohen made during a January 28, 2010 party at the Canadian consul general’s residence on the eve of him being awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Found at Leonard Cohen offers thanks to Canada – The Globe and Mail. The text follows:

My great grandfather, Lazarus Cohen, came to Canada in 1869, to the county of Glengarry, a little town in Maberly. It’s customary to thank people for the help and aid they’ve given. On this occasion, because of the great hospitality that was accorded my ancestor who came here over 140 years ago, I want to thank this country, Canada, for allowing us to live and work and flourish in a place that was different from all other places in the world. So I thank Canada for the opportunity that was given me to work and play and flourish … Thank you, friends.

Read more Leonard Cohen quotes about Canada

Photo: Leonard Cohen At 2010 Grammys

#tbt 2010 #Grammys #LeonardCohen

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Joe Shouldice is a Canadian designer living and working in Brooklyn, New York. His work has won most major international design awards, including recognition from the Type Directors Club, Tokyo Type Directors Club, the ADC, AIGA, Graphis, Applied Arts and Coupe Magazine.