Scratch the Rolling Stones as MusiCares’ Person of the Year. Mick, Keith, Ronnie, and Charlie et al have declined the chance to be honored for their humanitarian or charitable work. Sources tell me that as the Stones have scooped up hundreds of millions for their 50th anniversary tour, they’re not interested in seeing fellow stars sing their songs next February in tribute to them at the record industry’s most prestigious event.
Well, humbug to them. There are plenty of stars who’d be honored to be honored by MusiCares, my favorite annual charity. So far Persons of the Year have included Sting, Bono, Carole King, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Neil Young, Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin, Don Henley, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, and David Crosby.
The names I hear bandied about include, of course, Bob Dylan, plus Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Garth Brooks, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend of The Who, Led Zeppelin, Smokey Robinson, and so on. Madonna could be honored for her work with Kabbalah (that would be a weird night). Seriously: why not a Berry Gordy tribute to Motown? Or a memorial celebration of Michael Jackson with Diana Ross? Or what about Diana Ross herself? Or Lionel Richie?
I’m told the Stones turn down didn’t leave MusiCares “shattered.” They’ll get “satisfaction” elsewhere, believe me. MusiCares is bigger than the Rolling Stones. It helps hundreds of musicians with financial and life problems, many of whom have no health insurance or are in trouble after years of entertaining us.