Bob Dylan was named the 2015 Person of the Year by the MusiCares Foundation and the Recording Academy. Friday night, many of Dylan’s friends showed up and paid tribute to the legendary writer and performer. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter presented the singer-songwriter with the prestigious award at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Bob Dylan, a 10-time Grammy winner, did not perform any of his famous and inspiring songs. However, he did present a 40-minute speech.
According to the Associated Press, Bob Dylan had this to say to the audience.
“I’m glad for my songs to be honored like this. But, you know, they didn’t get here themselves. It’s been a long road and it’s taken a lot of doing.”
Dylan thanked folk music performers Peter, Paul, and Mary for offering their rendition of Dylan’s hit song “Blowin’ in the Wind” and making it a recording success.
Bob also offered some choice comments about his critics.
“Critics have been giving me a hard time since day one. Critics say I can’t sing, I croak, sound like frog. Why don’t critics say the same thing about Tom Waits? Critics say my voice is shot. That I have no voice. Why don’t they say those things about Leonard Cohen? Why do I get special treatment?”
The tribute concert for Bob Dylan included performances by a variety of Grammy winners, including Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bonnie Raitt, Beck, and Sheryl Crow, to name a few.
Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello performed Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” Willie Nelson started with “Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)” but had to pause to wait for lyrics to appear on the monitor.
Nelson expressed his concern.
“We need the lyrics.”
Other performers included Jackson Browne, Norah Jones, and Tom Jones, who earned rousing applause when he came onstage.
Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the MusiCares Foundation and the Recording Academy, had this to say about Bob Dylan.
“In celebrating the 25th anniversary of our MusiCares Person of the Year tribute, it is most fitting that we are honoring Bob Dylan, whose body of creative work has contributed to America’s culture, as well as that of the entire world, in genuinely deep and lasting ways.”
Friday night’s MusiCares tribute to Bob Dylan was its 25th anniversary. The event raised $7 million.
The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute is one of the many shows that lead up to the Grammy Awards on Sunday. Bono, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, and Billy Joel were past Person of the Year honorees. This year, Bob Dylan deservedly joins the impressive list of talented, creative, and inspiring performers, songwriters, and musicians.
[Images courtesy of PixShark/LaTimes]