THREE MUSIC ICONS AND HUMANITARIANS TO RECEIVE LEADERSHIP MUSIC DALE FRANKLIN AWARD
Ninth annual gala set for October 17th in Nashville
NASHVILLE, TN (July 12, 2012)–Three music luminaries who have also distinguished themselves as humanitarians have been selected as the 2012 recipients of the prestigious Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award. Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill and Randy Owen will be honored at a gala cocktail reception and musical tribute on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville.
The Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award, named for the first executive director of Leadership Music, was created in 2004 to recognize a music industry leader who exemplifies the highest quality of leadership and leading by example. Daniels, Gill and Owen join previous Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award honorees Tony Brown (2004), Gerry House (2005), Emmylou Harris (2006), Frances W. Preston (2007), The Bradley Family: Owen (posthumously), Harold, Jerry, Connie and Patsy (2008), Garth Brooks, Jim Foglesong and Allen Reynolds (2009), Fred Foster, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson (2010), and CMA (2011).
“Individually and collectively Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill and Randy Owen are iconic leaders in the industry who have left an indelible mark on popular music over the past four decades,” noted Jeff Gregg, president of the Leadership Music board. “But it is their heart for service and giving back that has been the hallmark of their careers. Through their work with numerous charities, they have made a difference in the lives of countless people. To say that Leadership Music and its alumni are proud and delighted to honor these artists with who, through their gift of service, have brought such distinction to themselves and their music is a vast understatement.”
Fiddle-playing Charlie Daniels has been performing for over 50 years. His rebel anthems “Long Haired Country Boy” and “The South’s Gonna Do It” propelled his 1975 collection Fire On the Mountain to Double Platinum status. He won a Grammy Award in 1979 for “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and the following year, the song became a major crossover success on rock radio stations, after its inclusion on the soundtrack for the hit movie Urban Cowboy. Daniels and The CDB have also earned awards from the Gospel Music Association, the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music. He is a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry, has been inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame, and has received a star on Music City’s Walk of Fame. He has been honored by the Pentagon with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service for his support of military personnel and has been awarded the AmVet Silver Helmetaward. In addition to visiting troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Korea, and elsewhere, Daniels started Operation Heartstrings a program that donated 100 Gibson guitars, as well as drums, keyboards, microphones, and more than 13,000 pieces of musical accessories to deployed service members in 2005. He continues to tour across the heartland of America and to perform for troops from Guantanamo Bay to Bosnia, Kuwait, South Korea, with repeated trips to Iraq for Stars for Stripes. Daniels has lent his talent and time to numerous charitable causes including hosting The Charlie Daniels Celebrity Golf Classic & Angelus Concert in Hudson, Florida, a benefit for The Angelus, a full-time residential facility and day school program for the severely handicapped; the Jason Foundation Golf Classic, an organization that targets teen suicide prevention; supporting Lipscomb University’s Yellow Ribbon program with an annual benefit concert; and for years been a member of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Professional Advisory Board. A longtime friend of Tony Martell’s and a prostate cancer survivor himself, Charlie has been a supporter of the T.J. Martell Foundation for many years and its numerous events supporting cancer research.
A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame since 2007, Vince Gill is widely recognized for his achingly beautiful tenor voice, award-winning songwriting skills and virtuoso guitar chops. Together, these talents have yielded him millions of album sales, 20 Grammys and 18 CMA Awards. In 2005, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. “Benefit,” as he is affectionately dubbed, is beloved for participating in hundreds of charitable events throughout his career, but it is his creation of the All for the Hall initiative, which urges fellow artists to support the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum that is especially close to his heart. The All for the Hall LA and New York guitar pulls, multi-artist concerts staged by Keith Urban and Brooks & Dunn’s final concert have raised millions of dollars for the Museum. He was the Museum’s artist in residence in 2009. An avid golfer, he helped create the annual Vince Gill Pro-Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament ,“The Vinny,”in 1993 in order to help support junior golf programs throughout Tennessee. His long friendship with Belmont University basketball coach Rick Byrdresulted in his Vince Gill Celebrity Basketball Game and Concert, which raised money for a dozen years for scholarships and program enhancements for Belmont’s athletic and music business programs. In 2006, The Academy of Country Music named Gill their Humanitarian of The Year. He has recorded with scores—possibly hundreds—of performers in all genres of music, among them Eric Clapton, Keb Mo, Barbra Streisand, Joe Bonamossa, Elvis Costello, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bill Gaither, Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, George Jones and Charlie Haden. In addition to his solo career, Gill is also a member of the Grammy-nominated band, The Time Jumpers. Gill co-hosted the CMA Awards for the first time in 1992 and continued to host “Country Music’s Biggest Night” for 12 consecutive years. He not only set a record for the most times anyone has consecutively hosted a televised award show, but he set the bar for other television awards emcees with his respect for his peers and the audience, quick ad libs and gentle humor. Gill is a long-time member of and regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry.
For more than 25 years Randy Owen was the front man and lead vocalist of the legendary group Alabama. The band signed a recording contract with RCA Records in 1980, launching a career that, to date, has resulted in 21 gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums, 43 number one singles and more than 75 million albums sold. Alabama received more than 150 industry awards, including eight country music Entertainer of the Year honors, two Grammys, 23 American Music Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They were named Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music in 1989 and Country Group of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1999. In November 2005, Owen and his Alabama bandmates received Country Music’s highest honor when they were inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame. Owen was also awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2008, which honors U.S. citizens from various ethnic backgrounds for their outstanding qualities in their professional lives, yet maintaining the richness of their particular heritage. When he’s not on the road performing, Owen has been busy launching his online entertainment network on Altimarc.com and operating his successful working cattle ranch, Tennessee River Music. He also spends his time helping others. Although Randy has lent his support to many great causes over the years, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is probably most near and dear to his heart. Having answered the personal request of the late entertainer and St. Jude founder Danny Thomas asking for help for the kids of St. Jude, Owen took on the challenge. With the help of country radio and the country music industry, he has been the leading force of Country Cares for St. Jude Kids, the program he helped create in 1989 that has since raised over $400 million. For the past 25 years, he has hosted the Randy Owen Celebrity Classic golf tournament, which has raised more than $1 million for the Alabama Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, and he has also co-hosted (along with the group Alabama) an annual songwriters show benefitting John Croyle’s Big Oak Ranch for the past 15 years. In 2011, Owen joined Alabama to organize and headline two shows to aid 25 counties across the state of Alabama that were devastated by tornadoes. The Bama Rising concert raised more than $2.1 million, and the Tuscaloosa Storm Recovery show raised almost $200,000. In addition, Owen also donates to various organizations annually through his June Jam Fund.
Tickets for the event will be placed on sale in early August.