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Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dave Matthews Set for Neil Young Tribute Concert

By November 11, 2009

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Neil Young's musical legacy is immense and unquestioned. But he's also a philanthropic force in the industry, the man behind Farm Aid (which supports the nation's farmers) and the annual concerts benefiting the Bridge School (which helps physically challenged youths). As a result, Young has been named the 2010 MusiCares Person of the Year, and some of the artists he's influenced will pay homage to him at an event on January 29 in Los Angeles.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wilco, Dave Matthews, and John Mellencamp are among the dozen-or-so acts who are slated to perform at the Los Angeles Convention Center gala. Tellingly, each of these four acts has some personal connection with either Young or MusiCares. Wilco have opened for Young on tour, Matthews and Mellencamp are part of the Farm Aid board of directors, and RHCP bassist Flea wrote an essay in Rolling Stone about Young's career, praising his "dignity and relevance and honesty. He's never, ever sold out, and he's never pretended to be anything other than what he is." (In addition, RHCP frontman Anthony Kiedis was honored earlier this year with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award from MusiCares, which is given to a performer who supports the organization's goal of providing assistance to artists battling addiction.)

On its website, MusiCares describes its mission as being "a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need." The organization offers financial and medical support to musicians who may have no other place to go for help, and its annual Person of the Year award goes to an artist who demonstrates charitable acts above and beyond the call of duty. It's hard to think of a person more deserving of this recognition than Young. Neil Portnow, the President and CEO of the MusiCares Foundation, probably put it best: "He is a shining example of how music people offer their creative gifts to the world, and how they also give back through their commitments to charitable endeavors."

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Photo: Hannah Johnston/Getty Images.

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