James Taylor To Be Honored As 2006 MusiCares Person Of The Year
Multi-GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter James Taylor will be honored as the 2006 MusiCares Person of the Year, it was announced today by Neil Portnow, President of the MusiCares Foundation and The Recording Academy, and Les Bider, Chairman of the MusiCares Foundation.
Taylor, chosen for his professional accomplishments as well as his commitment to various philanthropic efforts, will receive the honor at a gala tribute dinner, concert and silent auction on Feb. 6. The MusiCares tribute dinner is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week, a celebration that culminates with the 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 8. The telecast will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network at 8p.m. (ET/PT) from Los Angeles.
"MusiCares and The Recording Academy take great pride in honoring James Taylor as an extraordinary human being, musician and humanitarian who has made a global impact on music and culture," said Portnow. "As the quintessential singer/songwriter, he embodies the creative spirit that is the hallmark of our finest and most enduring musical icons. His impact on the music and culture of our era has been enormous, and we welcome this opportunity to pay fitting tribute to a voice that continues to resonate within our community."
"For decades, Taylor has honored us with his powerful lyrics that inspired songwriters and musicians across generations," said Bider. "He's delivered musical experiences that are powerful and timeless — and that's exactly how this year's Person of the Year gala event will be on Feb. 6."
Throughout the course of his career, Taylor has earned 40 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards for a catalog running from 1970's Sweet Baby James to his GRAMMY Award-winning Hourglass (1997) and GRAMMY-nominated October Road (2002). Taylor's first Greatest Hits album earned him the Recording Industry Association of America's elite Diamond Award, given for sales in excess of 10 million units. For his accomplishments, Taylor was honored with the 1998 Century Award, Billboard magazine's highest accolade, bestowed for distinguished creative achievement. The year 2000 saw his induction into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the prestigious Songwriter's Hall of Fame.
Raised in North Carolina, Taylor now lives in western Massachusetts. He has sold some 35 million albums throughout his career, which began in 1968. It was only a matter of time before he would make his mark.
Above all, there are the songs: "Fire And Rain," "Country Road," "Something In The Way She Moves," "Mexico," "Shower The People," "Your Smiling Face," "Carolina In My Mind," "Sweet Baby James," "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," "You Can Close Your Eyes," "Walking Man," "Never Die Young," "Shed A Little Light," and "Copperline." Taylor's songs have had a profound influence on both songwriters and music lovers of all generations and from all walks of life.
As a recording and touring artist, Taylor set a precedent for solo singer/songwriters and blazed a path to which countless numbers of earnest young musicians have since aspired. His warm baritone is among the most recognized voices in popular music and his guitar playing has established its own standard.
His music embodies the art of songwriting in its most fundamental form. He has been at it for decades: transforming introspective meditations into lyrics, melodies and harmonies that comfort and reassure the listener with the sense that these sometimes painful, sometimes celebratory moments are a part of life, shared by us all. In 1971, Taylor was featured on the cover of Time magazine, which heralded him as the harbinger of "the singer/songwriter era." Today, the quintessential singer/songwriter has seen that era cross over into the 21st century.
Taylor has remained committed to his philanthropic work throughout the years. Whether protecting the environment via the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), where he's an active board member, or supporting funding and research for children's health-related issues such as juvenile diabetes, he has remained driven. Whether campaigning for funding for various arts initiatives or calling attention to the needs of those less fortunate, he has done so with a sense of purpose and passion.
The MusiCares Person of the Year event features a star-studded concert of tribute performances by many of today's biggest music stars. Also among the highlights of the gala is its prestigious auction featuring collectibles such as music and sports memorabilia, artwork, and luxury items. Proceeds from the annual Person of the Year tribute provide essential support for MusiCares' Financial Assistance Program, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.