Three-Time Grammy Winner Tom Petty to Be Honored as 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year
Tom Petty will be honored as the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, it was announced today by Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy, and Alexandra Patsavas, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board. Proceeds from the 27th annual benefit gala dinner and concert-to be held in Los Angeles during GRAMMY Week two nights prior to the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards-will provide essential support for MusiCares (www.musicares.org), which ensures music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical, and personal need.
A three-time GRAMMY winner, Petty is being honored as the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of his significant creative accomplishments, his career-long interest in defending artists' rights, and the charitable work he has undertaken throughout his career, which has notably focused on the homeless population in Los Angeles. Widely recognized by a younger generation of musicians as an example of what an engaged artist can accomplish in his field and beyond, Petty has come to represent the lasting possibilities of rock and roll.
"Tom burst into our musical consciousness and never let go," said Portnow. "His brand of rock and roll benefits from a celebratory rebelliousness, infectious rhythms, and unforgettable lyrics that are incised in our imaginations. His artistic talents coupled with his quiet philanthropy make him a great MusiCares Person of the Year honoree, and we are very fortunate to have the support of our Board, past honorees, and the musical community around this special event."
"I am so very pleased to be honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year. I have so much respect for this organization, which really does care about the people in our industry," said Petty. "I myself know many people who MusiCares has aided in desperate situations. Again, let me say this is a true honor."
Petty formed his first bands in Gainesville, Fla. As a college town in the '60s, Gainesville brought with it fraternity parties, rock and roll clubs, AM radios playing the Beatles and James Brown, and a music store where you could buy equipment on credit. Forty years after releasing his first album, Petty is widely recognized as a man for whom those things Gainesville offered still matter the most. In each of his five decades as a recording artist, Petty has charted albums in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. His most recent recording with the Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye, entered at No. 1.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Petty is an artist whose approach to record making and the business itself has earned the respect of his peers, his predecessors, and the young musicians who regularly hold him as an exemplar. His collaborators have included Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jimmy Iovine, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Rick Rubin, and Del Shannon, among others. And while his solo recordings, including 1989's Full Moon Fever and 1994's Wildflowers, are frequently ranked among the most important of their respective eras, Petty has always returned to the job he's favored: fronting one of rock and roll's most celebrated bands and bringing them enough songs for the next album.
Repeatedly confronting the inequities of the artist's side of the industry, Petty has assumed a special place as a musician looking out for other musicians, and an artist who approaches every recording project as if it might be his best.
"Tom Petty is an icon whose incomparable artistry has provided inspiration to fans and musicians all over the world," said Patsavas. "To honor him with this tribute is so fitting, and we certainly look forward to an exciting and extraordinary evening."
The 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will begin with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive and unparalleled selection of luxury items, VIP experiences, and one-of-a-kind celebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception and silent auction will be followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a tribute concert featuring renowned musicians. This year, for the first time, a limited number of VIP experience tables will be available for $75,000 that include: 10 seats, artist soundcheck, red carpet access, backstage access with a meet-and-greet, access to the pre-show auction, and a special VIP lounge. The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. The celebration culminates with the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
The MusiCares Foundation offers programs and services to members of the music community, including emergency financial assistance for basic living expenses such as rent, utilities, and car payments; medical expenses including doctor, dentist, and hospital bills; psychotherapy; and treatment for HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, hepatitis C, and other critical illnesses. MusiCares offers nationwide educational workshops covering a variety of subjects, including financial, legal, medical, and substance abuse issues, and programs in collaboration with health care professionals that provide services such as flu shots, hearing tests, and medical/dental screenings. The MusiCares MAP Fund allows access to addiction recovery treatment and sober living resources for members of the music community. Staffed by qualified chemical dependency and intervention specialists, MusiCares offers Safe Harbor Room support, sponsored in part by the Bohemian Foundation and RBC Capital Markets, to provide a network to those in recovery while they are participating in the production of televised music shows and other major music events. MusiCares holds weekly addiction support groups for people to discuss how to best cope with the issues surrounding the recovery process. The MusiCares Sober Touring Network is a database of individuals across the United States who can take music people to recovery support meetings while on the road.
Established in 1989 by The Recording Academy, MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. For more information, please visit www.musicares.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, please "like" MusiCares on Facebook, follow @MusiCares on Twitter and Instagram.
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and recording professionals dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards-the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music-The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education, and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers, and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, "like" The GRAMMYs on Facebook and join The GRAMMYs' social communities on Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube.
For information on purchasing tables and tickets to the event, please contact Dana Tomarken at MusiCares, 310.392.3777.
Photo credit: Neal Preston
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