A cluster of music’s greatest living artists will pay tribute to one of their own in just a few months’ time, as legendary singer/songwriter and Heartbreakers front-man Tom Petty is honored by MusiCares as their Person of the Year. MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for musicians and those in the music business in times of need. Their services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. The organization also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.
Petty’s struggles with heroin addiction became widely known after the release of his biography last year. He spent more than a decade battling the disease after he split from his wife in the 1990s. What is even better documented is his legendary career and triumphant return to the stage and studio after overcoming his dependency. A career that has spanned 40 years, first with the Heartbreakers then as a solo artist, Petty has solidified himself as one of the most important and influential songwriters of his era. His journey to and from heroin addiction reminds us that we can all get sucked in, but also that we can all recover.
Petty will be honored on February 10 at a Gala in Los Angeles. The proceeds of which will provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical, and personal need. Performing artists will include Gary Clark, Jr. Foo Fighters, Don Henley, Norah Jones, Kings Of Leon, Jeff Lynne, Randy Newman, Stevie Nicks, George Strait, and Lucinda Williams, Jackson Browne, Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen, Elle King, and Regina Spektor and the Bangles. The celebration culminates with the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8pm.
The MusiCares Foundation offers programs and services to members of the music community, including emergency financial assistance for basic living expenses such as rent, utilities, and car payments; medical expenses including doctor, dentist, and hospital bills; psychotherapy; and treatment for HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, hepatitis C, and other critical illnesses. MusiCares offers nationwide educational workshops covering a variety of subjects, including financial, legal, medical, and substance abuse issues, and programs in collaboration with health care professionals that provide services such as flu shots, hearing tests, and medical/dental screenings.
The MusiCares MAP Fund® allows access to addiction recovery treatment and sober living resources for members of the music community. Staffed by qualified chemical dependency and intervention specialists, MusiCares offers Safe Harbor Room® support, sponsored in part by the Bohemian Foundation and RBC Capital Markets, to provide a network to those in recovery while they are participating in the production of televised music shows and other major music events. MusiCares holds weekly addiction support groups for people to discuss how to best cope with the issues surrounding the recovery process. The MusiCares Sober Touring Network is a database of individuals across the United States who can take music people to recovery support meetings while on the road.