MusiCares shows the compassionate side of the Grammys. So it makes perfect sense that one of the most compassionate names in music is MusiCares 2019 Person of the Year.
Who Gets to Be MusiCares Person of the Year?
The MusiCares Person of the Year award commends musicians for their artistic achievement, as well as their dedication to philanthropy. The award's name reflects the non-profit health care organization known as MusiCares, which is the charity arm of The Recording Academy. The Recording Academy is of course the same organization that gives out the Grammy Awards. And it established MusiCares "to provide health and medical assistance to needy musicians." The MusiCares Foundation selects each year's recipient. And recipients are honored during Grammy Week. Grammy Week itself includes a string of galas that occur just prior to the annual Grammy Awards ceremony, as well as an "all-star" tribute concert that helps to raise money for the MusiCares Foundation.
MusiCares has been naming its Person of the Year since 1991. Its recipients are some of the mightiest names in music. They're also some of the most formidable voices in philanthropy. And their efforts affect every element of society.
American musicians David Crosby, Bonnie Raitt and Natalie Cole won the first three MusiCares Person of the Year awards. Cuban American singer Gloria Estefan received hers in 1994. She was followed by two more Americans, Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones. They in turn were followed by Brits Phil Collins, Sir Elton John and Sting, Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti, Americans Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Billy Joel, and Irish musician Bono. Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Don Henley, Aretha Franklin and Neil Diamond added another string for the Americans. Then came Canadian Neil Young. Barbra Streisand, Sir Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen were honored in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. Carole King was honored in 2014. Bob Dylan and Lionel Richie followed in 2015 and 2016. And Tom Petty won in 2017. In 2018, Fleetwood Mac became the first group to win the award.
Yep, you read correctly. Dolly Parton is MusiCares' 2019 Person of the Year. Dolly becomes the first country artist to receive the honor. She's also probably the only recipient to have her own theme park. In fact, Dollywood itself is a bit of a philanthropic endeavor. After all, it does employ over 3000 people in the rural Tennessee region where she grew up. Her same-named Dollywood Foundation does all that and then some. And it includes the Imagination Library, which has given away more than 100 million children's books.
That's right. 100 million books. Given to children free of charge. From the day of their birth through their first day of kindergarten. And all they have to do is ask.
As you might suspect, the eight-time Grammy winner accepted her MusiCares nomination with customary grace.
"I am so excited and humbled to be honored as MusiCares Person of the Year," Parton said in a statement. "It's even more special knowing the gala benefits music people in need. I can't wait to hear all of the great artists singing my music."
This year's all-star tribute concert takes place on February 8th and will indeed include great artists. Norah Jones, Shawn Mendes, P!nk, Chris Stapleton, Vince Gill, Don Henley, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Linda Perry and Mavis Staples are among the earliest announced acts. And Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood have more recently been added to the bill. Of course Dolly herself will also take the stage for the festivities.
In addition to the tribute concert, the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles will be showcasing Dolly's own distinct personal style. The exhibition is called Diamond in a Rhinestone World: The Costumes of Dolly Parton, and it will feature outfits and other pieces from her extensive personal collection. That show opens to the public on February 5th and runs through March 1st.
Why MusiCares Matters
MusiCares provides critical assistance for music people in times of need. Consider it a short-term financial safety net, providing assistance for personal or addiction needs that have arisen due to unforeseen circumstances. Funding may be awarded for rent, car payments, insurance premiums, utilities and other personal expenses, as well as medical/dental expenses, psychotherapy, addiction treatment and sober living. In fact, a large part of MusiCares direct assistance goes toward individual sobriety efforts. And it also helps focus attention on addiction recovery issues within the music industry as a whole. Considering the impact substance abuse continues to have on the music community, both initiatives are equally laudable -- and vital.
Recovery Boot Camp would like to congratulate Dolly Parton on being honored MusiCares' 2019 Person of the Year. We'd also like to applaud MusiCares for recognizing one of the most deserving names in music. It's hard to tell whether Dolly's tremendous talent exceeds her extensive philanthropy, but we're glad to see both so duly cited. More importantly perhaps is MusiCares itself -- its mission, its message and its munificence. Music Industry professionals too often fall afoul of the music industry itself. And it's incredibly heartening to see music industry insiders step up to help their own.