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Neil Diamond to receive Grammy MusiCares honor

October 21, 2008 |  1:55 pm


Neil Diamond has been tapped as the 2009 MusiCares person of the year; and will be honored at an event in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, two nights before the 51st annual Grammy Awards.

In a statement released this afternoon, MusiCares, the charitable arm of the Recording Academy, said Diamond would be donating 100% of his merch sales from October concerts in Houston, Dallas and Oklahoma City to Hurricane Ike relief efforts. As is the norm, MusiCares will host an auction on the night of the gala, which will be broadcast live on the Auction Network for those not on the guest list (most of Pop & Hiss).

Diamond has been nominated for 12 Grammys, according to the release, and won in 1973 for best original score for a motion picture or a television special for his work on "Jonathan Livingston Seagull." Diamond scored his first ever No. 1 album on the U.S. pop charts earlier this year for his "Home Before Dark."

Last year, MusiCares recognized soul legend Aretha Franklin, and hosted an extensive gospel tribute on its February Grammy broadcast. Items up for bidding in 2007 included a pink Cadillac CTS inspires by Franklin's "Freeway of Love,", as well as as private painting lesson with Tony Bennett (true, here's evidence).

Today's announcement comes a few days after the Recording Academy announced that this year, Grammy nominations will be moving to prime time via a Dec. 3 special on CBS. Major categories will be announced live on the air, and nominated artists will be on hand to perform. Participating artists have not yet been announced.

Related: Live review: Neil Diamond at the Hollywood Bowl (Oct. 3)

--Todd Martens

Photo by Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times