Legendary singer, songwriter, performer and multi-Grammy Award winner Neil Diamond is being honored as the 2009 MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of his exceptional artistic achievements as well as his philanthropic work, which has included many generous charitable donations over the years.

Most recently, Diamond has been donating 100 percent of merchandise sales from his October concerts in Houston and Dallas, TX, and Oklahoma City, OK, to the hurricane relief efforts in Texas for areas ravaged by Hurricane Ike.

Diamond, whose career spans four decades and has sold more than 125 million records, has 36 Top 40 hits and thousands of sold-out shows worldwide, will receive the award on February 6, 2009 in Los Angeles, during the annual Grammy Week gala dinner and concert honoring him, and two days prior to the 51st annual Grammy Awards. Proceeds from the annual gala dinner and concert provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn to in times of financial, medical and personal need.

“As we enter the next 50 years for The Recording Academy and the Grammy Awards and approach the 20th anniversary of our MusiCares Foundation, it is fitting that we honor a most enduring artist and songwriter whose musical influence is truly unmatched — the extraordinary Neil Diamond,” said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation.

The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony will be chaired by music and entertainment mogul Irving Azoff and Marshall Gelfand, partner in entertainment business management firm Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, LLP.

Diamond is currently on tour through January 8, 2009.

MusiCares was founded in 1989 by The Recording Academy and provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and 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.

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