Merry Clayton– it’s been well known in the music world that she lost both of her legs in a terrible auto accident in June 2014. I’ve known about it for some time but didn’t write it because Clayton was recovering and in rehabilitation.
Today, the news is buried in a short piece in the New York Times because Merry is receiving the Clark and Gwen Terry Award this week at the Apollo Theater. She will accept on a video, and not in person.
Merry is one of the most amazing people in the world, as well as a terrifyingly gifted singer. Of course, Merry was featured in the Oscar winning film “20 Feet from Stardom.” Prior to that a lot of people didn’t know it was she who sang on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” and had lent her voice to dozens of hits as a back up singer.
Over the last year I have heard of the many friends in the music biz who’ve helped her including Carole King. Now that the news is out, I hope everyone– everyone including MusiCares and the Grammys– will celebrate Merry’s life and career. I know she will overcome this obstacle and come roaring back with that wonderful spirit and voice.
Viva Merry Clayton!