Neil Young honored for his "heart of gold"

Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:22pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eclectic rocker Neil Young, who has made no secret of his disdain for the Grammys in the past, is receiving a humanitarian award from the group that hands out the music industry's top honors.

The Canadian singer-songwriter, 63, will be honored during the 20th annual MusiCares gala taking place in Los Angeles on January 29, two days before the Recording Academy holds the Grammys.

The black-tie event, consisting of a dinner and all-star concert, raises money for the MusiCares charity, which helps musicians with financial, medical and personal needs. Previous honorees include Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, Natalie Cole and Elton John.

Young, famed for such tunes as "Heart of Gold," "Like a Hurricane" and "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)," co-founded Farm Aid, which raises money for farmers. He also hosts the annual Bridge School concerts in northern California, which help fund education for youngsters with severe speech and physical impairments.

But the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who has confounded fans over the past 40 years with an idiosyncratic output spanning folk, rock, grunge, soul and country, has never won a Grammy. He has been nominated multiple times, as recently as this year for "No Hidden Path," a 14-minute track from his 2007 album "Chrome Dreams II."

"I'm not Grammy material," he said in a 1987 interview recounted in the authorized biography "Shakey." "I hate that s---. It has nothing to do with rock 'n' roll. It only has to do with Hollywood, and it's jive -- a buncha people handin' each other awards and talkin' about how they made the best record ... There is no best in music."

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

<p>Canadian singer Neil Young performs at the Glastonbury Festival 2009 in south west England June 26, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>