We Take Care Of Our Own

Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow's 54th GRAMMY telecast remarks
  • Photo: John Shearer/WireImage.com
    Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow
February 12, 2012 -- 6:34 pm PST

The power of music is legendary. Music inspires, brings joy, hope, and heals. And nowhere is that more true than on our GRAMMY stage.

Opening our show tonight, you heard an anthem for our times called, "We Take Care Of Our Own." It's a clarion call that also represents the core of what we do at The Recording Academy 365 days a year.

We take care of our children. Each and everyone deserves to experience and learn the power of music in school. That's what our GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY Camp programs provide as well as cash grants to high school music programs across the country.

And our GRAMMY Museum is the place to learn about our musical past, present, and future.

Exposure to the arts cannot be optional. It's a cultural necessity in our country and deserves everyone's enthusiastic support. We take care of our musicians and our creative community in their times of need and crises.

Our MusiCares Foundation has provided $30 million and helped 75,000 music people over the past two decades. And with the help of this year's MusiCares Person of the Year, Sir Paul McCartney, our event broke all records. And our 20th Anniversary fund-raising campaign has passed the $12 million mark.

We take care of protecting the ability of our artists, songwriters, and studio professionals to earn a living creating the soundtrack of our lives. Sure, there's an ongoing debate about how to do that in today's changing digital world. But there should be no debate about the need for creators to be fairly compensated. So let's work together — creators, fans and the tech community — to ensure that the music keeps playing for generations to come. If music is important in your life, please visit GRAMMY.com, or download the GRAMMY app to add your voice.

Finally, we take care of our own by remembering them when they leave us, as we've already seen tonight as our performers have helped us remember the remarkable talent and life of Whitney Houston.

Sadly, we also lost our longtime GRAMMY Co-Executive Producer, John Cossette. Carrying on the legacy of his dad, the legendary Pierre Cossette, John played a part in GRAMMY history, which will be remembered forever. As will his passion and his friendship. Like losing a family member, we miss him dearly and keep him in our hearts. 

Go to www.grammy.com/together.

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