EXCLUSIVE Every year, the Grammy Awards‘ charity MusiCares stages their annual fundraiser on the Friday before the awards, honoring a superstar. Something like 3,000 people jam the LA Convention Center for dinner and a concert that’s off the hook, the honoree’s peers perform their songs.
Only the people in the Hall get to see and hear these amazing one of a kind moments performed by Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Neil Young, Neil Diamond, Tom Petty, Bono, Don Henley, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand, and so on, honored as Person of the Year. Sometimes it’s even been a group, like Aerosmith.
But this year because of the pandemic there is no one Person of the Year. Not yet announced, I’m told that acting Recording Academy chief Harvey Mason Jr. and his team have come up with a Greatest Hits gala idea that will revisit all those amazing performances. The date would be January 29th, as the Grammys are on CBS January 31st.
The main thing is that everyone who loves music gets behind this and makes the virtual fundraiser the biggest ever. Musicians everywhere are suffering from lack of work, and in some cases, COVID, as well as myriad health issues. MusiCares comes to the rescue of all these musicians who don’t have resources. These may be very well known names who never made a lot of money– but whose records we all love– to sidemen, studio people, live performers who depend on gigs 300 days each year.
When Harvey and his team make their official announcement, I hope the show will be available to people around the world who want to donate funds to this incredibly important cause. I think we will see a show just as good as the annual live one, with the consequences of giving so much more pressing now.
PS I really hope one of the clips they use is Jennifer Hudson and a gospel choir singing Neil Diamond’s “Holly Holy.” I’ve never forgotten it.