2017 MusiCares Person of the Year Revealed

Each year The Recording Academy chooses a MusiCares Person of the Year. MusiCares is an organization that sees to the medical and financial needs of musicians in time of need.

The 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year is three time Grammy Award winning musician Tom Petty. MusiCares honours artists for their creative accomplishments and their philanthropic endeavours.

Petty will be honoured in a gala event on February 10, 2017 – just two days before the annual Grammy Award ceremonies – that will feature dinner, a concert, and an auction to raise money for the MusiCares organization.

Petty joins previous MusiCares Persons of the Year David Crosby, Bonnie Raitt, Natalie Cole, Gloria Estafan, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Phil Collins, Luciano Pavarotti, Stevie Wonder, Sir Elton John, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Bono, Sting, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, Don Henley, Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Barbra Streisand, Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Carole King, Bob Dylan, and Lionel Richie.

The Recording Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow spoke on Petty saying, “Tom burst into our musical consciousness and never let go. 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.”

Petty himself spoke on the honour saying, “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. I myself know many people who MusiCares has aided in desperate situations. Again, let me say this is a true honor.”

Along with his three Grammy Awards, Petty is a member of the Songwriters and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.

A native of Gainesville, Florida, Petty has been making music for over five decades and has had a top five album on the Billboard 200 album chart in each one of them. Throughout those years he has worked with a number of artists including Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jimmy Iovine, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Rich Rubin, and Del Shannon.

Petty and his music has appeared in over 100 film and television productions including “FM”, “Taps”, “WKRP in Cincinnati”, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, “Knight Rider”, “Miami Vice”, “Lethal Weapoin 2”, “The Silence of the Lambs”, “Melrose Place”, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”, “Beavis and Butt-Head”, “Jerry Maguire”, “The Simpsons”, “The O.C.”, “Saturday Night Live”, “The Sopranos”, “7th Heaven”, “Friday Night Lights”, “Saving Grace”, “Ugly Betty”, “Stargate: Atlantis”, “Cold Case”, “Criminal Minds”, “One Tree Hill”, “The Office”, “Parks and Recreation” and numerous late night talk show and reality show appearances.

Petty has also appeared as an actor in only a few programs – “King of the Hill”, “The Larry Sanders Show”, “Made in Heaven”, and as the Bridge City Mayor in “The Postman”.


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