Bo Diddley - Accolades


Bo Diddley achieved numerous accolades in recognition of his significant role as one of the founding fathers of rock and roll.

  • 1986: inducted into the Washington Area Music Association's Hall of Fame.
  • 1987: inducted the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
  • 1990: Lifetime Achievement Award from Guitar Player magazine.
  • 1998: Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
  • 1999: His 1955 recording of his song "Bo Diddley" inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a recording of lasting qualitative or historical significance.
  • 2000: Inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame and into the North Florida Music Association's Hall of Fame.
  • 2002: Pioneer in Entertainment Award from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters
  • 2002: Bo Diddley was honored as one of the first BMI Icons at the 50th annual BMI Pop Awards. He was presented the award along with BMI affiliates Chuck Berry and Little Richard.
  • 2008: Although confirmed before his death in June 2008, an honorary degree was posthumously conferred upon Diddley by the University of Florida in August 2008.
  • 2009: Florida's Secretary of State announces Bo's induction into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame (induction to occur during Florida Heritage Month, March 2010).
  • 2010: Bo Diddley was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

In 2003, U.S. Representative John Conyers paid tribute to Bo Diddley in the United States House of Representatives describing him as "one of the true pioneers of rock and roll, who has influenced generations".

In 2004, Mickey and Sylvia's 1956 recording of "Love Is Strange" (a song first recorded by Diddley but not released until a year before his death) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a recording of qualitative or historical significance, and he was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him No. 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

In 2005, Bo Diddley celebrated his 50th anniversary in music with successful tours of Australia and Europe, and with coast-to-coast shows across North America. He performed his song "Bo Diddley" with Eric Clapton, Robbie Robertson, and longtime bassist and musical director Debby Hastings at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 20th annual induction ceremony and in the UK, Uncut magazine included his 1957 debut album "Bo Diddley" in its listing of the '100 Music, Movie & TV Moments That Have Changed The World'.

In 2006, Bo Diddley participated as the headliner of a grassroots organized fundraiser concert, to benefit the town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, which had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The "Florida Keys for Katrina Relief" had originally been set for October 23, 2005, when Hurricane Wilma barreled through the Florida Keys on October 24, causing flooding and economic mayhem. In January 2006, the Florida Keys had recovered enough to host the fundraising concert to benefit the more hard-hit community of Ocean Springs. When asked about the fundraiser Bo Diddley stated, "This is the United States of America. We believe in helping one another.". In an interview with Holger Petersen, on Saturday Night Blues on CBC Radio in the fall of 2006 Bo Diddley commented about the racism that existed in the music industry establishment during the early part of his career that saw him deprived of his royalties from the most successful part of his career.

Bo Diddley performed a number of shows around the country in 2005 and 2006 with the fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Johnnie Johnson Band, featuring Johnson on keyboards, Richard Hunt on drums, and Gus Thornton on bass. But from 1985 until he died, his touring band consisted of Debby Hastings (bass/musical director), Frank Daley or Nunzio Signore (guitar), Tom Major, Dave Johnson, Yoshi Shimada or Sandy Gennaro (drums), and his personal manager, Margo Lewis (keyboards).

Bo Diddley was honored by the Mississippi Blues Commission with a Mississippi Blues Trail historic marker placed in McComb, his birthplace, in recognition of his enormous contribution to the development of the blues in Mississippi. On June 5, 2009 the city of Gainesville, Florida, officially renamed and dedicated its downtown plaza the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. The plaza was the site of many benefit concerts at which Bo Diddley performed during his lifetime to raise awareness about the plight of the homeless in Alachua County, and to raise money for local charities, including the Red Cross.

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