Singer-songwriter feted for philanthropic work

James Taylor will be honored as the 2006 MusiCares person of the year on Feb. 6 during Grammy Week festivities.

Taylor’s philanthropic work includes helping protecting the environment via the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he’s an active board member, and supporting funding and research for children’s health issues.

“As the quintessential singer-songwriter, he embodies the creative spirit that is the hallmark of our finest and most enduring musical icons. His impact on the music and culture of our era has been enormous,” said Neil Portnow, president of the MusiCares Foundation and the Recording Academy.

Person-of-the-year event features a concert of tribute performances by music stars. Gala also features an auction of collectibles, artwork and luxury items. Proceeds from the annual tribute provide support for MusiCares’ financial assistance program, which ensures that people in the music industry have a place to turn in times of financial, medical or personal need.

The Recording Academy, along with its MusiCares Foundation, has committed an initial contribution of $1 million for music people affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. MusiCares is covering immediate and basic needs including food, shelter, clothing, prescriptions and school supplies. MusiCares also is helping music people replace their instruments and gear to help them take their first steps back to making a living.

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