Thelma Houston has received a new Grammy to replace a statuette that was broken in an earthquake.
Houston won a Grammy Award in 1978 in the Best R&B Vocal Performance — Female category for her hit “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” However, her trophy was broken during the 1994 earthquake that hit Northridge, California.
Houston was presented with a brand-new statuette at a special interview and performance event at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on the 25th anniversary of the 6.7 magnitude earthquake.
“I’d been carrying the Grammy with me in three pieces for years,” Houston told Billboard in an interview before the event. “The horn portion of it was all smashed in. So the Grammy folks said, ‘We’d better do something about that.'”
Houston was required to give back the broken trophy in order to receive a new one, which was something very difficult for her.
“Someone told me years ago that I should get it replaced. And you do have to give up the old one,” Houston said. “But though it was broken, that Grammy had all my vibes. It had been there with me through all the changes in my life. So even though I was excited about getting a new one, it was still hard to replace it.”
“I had the three pieces sitting up proudly. People might think I was being cavalier about this, but it’s just the opposite. It meant a lot to get this [initially], and it still means a lot because everyone that records doesn’t get a Grammy,” she added.
Looking forward, Houston said, “I just want to continue to be in good health and do what I’ve been doing because I love it so much. That’s what has kept me motivated and inspired. It hasn’t always been about having a hit record.”
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