Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sheryl Crow were just a few of the stars who turned out to see Neil Young honoured at the Grammy Week MusiCares fundraiser and concert last night.
The folk rock legend was named MusiCares Person Of The Year at a gala in Los Angeles where The Red Hot Chili Peppers played a tribute to the star. Other event headliners included Elton John, Elvis Costello, Norah Jones, John Mellencamp, and Jackson Browne.
Young's former band mate David Crosby praised his musical career and humanitarian work: "Too much of the music business these days is about surface rather than substance.
Neil is substance. He's the real thing. He really writes real songs that can really move your heart. And I like that. I want to see that honoured. And, also, I love the guy. He's my friend."
Sheryl Crow was also at the event and praised Young's legacy as an artist and performer: "You know, I don't even know where to begin, she said.
He seemed to marry folk music and country music and for me, where I was from in Missouri, it really set me on course as far as a songwriter goes, and he also managed to interject really socially, politically, moving lyrics into rock songs and he still is for me the template that I hold up and hope to eventually accomplish the things that he's done."
"Neil is substance. He really writes real songs that can really move your heart. And, also, I love the guy. He's my friend."
MusiCares was established by The Recording Academy in 1989 to offer financial and medical assistance to musicians in need of a wide range of emergency services. The Recording Academy is best known for producing the Grammys each year and often the stars who perform at MusiCares go on to perform at the Grammys.
Young himself said he was pleased to be associated with this particular charity: "Well, it's a great cause and the money that we make here tonight goes to a really good place. It goes to helping musicians that are less fortunate and that have come upon hard times and don't have health care and, are living in the real world."
The tributes kept coming for Young from other musicians however, as Josh Groban cited him as a huge inspiration: "To give this extraordinary achievement to a guy who has just done so much for the industry and so much for the human race with his humanitarian work, is so exciting.
It's great. And I think that the number of genres that are here tonight representing his songs, just represents how universal his connection is with people."
Meanwhile, singer Dwight Yoakam said it wasn't just great music that Neil Young will be remembered for: "I don't think anybody will forget. But Neil Young, along with Willie Nelson, has done enormous work for the farmers of America and North America. And they've done it in some ways thanklessly, for many, many years, alone, with John Mellencamp. And so, I just came out to cheer that on."
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