Bob Dylan Receives Person of the Year Award

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Bob Dylan was honored at the MusiCares gala at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Dylan received the Person of the Year award for his contributions as a musician and songwriter in the music business. Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, Beck, Tom Jones, David Crosby, Bruce Springsteen, the Black Keys, and other musicians paid tribute to Dylan. Raitt performed the rocker’s song “Standing on the Doorway,” and the track was hand picked by Dylan. As a matter of fact, Dylan picked all of the songs the artists performed that night.

Tom Jones said his manager told him that Dylan wanted him to perform at the tribute dinner. “They said, you know Bob Dylan is being honored by MusiCares and he said he would only do it if he could pick the people that have recorded his songs that he liked,” Jones explained. Jones remade Dylan’s “What Good Am I” for his 2010 Praise & Blame album. Jones mentioned that he never met Dylan, and he didn’t know that the rocker liked his version of “What Good Am I,” but when he was told Dylan requested him to perform at his tribute, it meant a lot to him. “It means a lot to me that he liked my version because I’m almost afraid to ask a songwriter, ‘Well, what do you think of my version’ and now I know and I feel great about it,” Jones explained.

When Bob Dylan took the stage to accept his award, the rocker gave a forty-minute speech, which included describing his experiences in the music industry as well as thanking those people who believed in him and helped contribute to his success. Dylan recalled a number of artists he wrote songs for including Nina Simone, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Purvis Staples and the Staple Singers, and Sonny & Cher. “Nina Simone. I used to cross paths with her in New York City. These were the artists I looked up to. She recorded some of my songs. She was an overwhelming artist, piano player, and singer,” Dylan told the audience. He added, “She was a very strong woman, very outspoken. Nina recording my songs validated everything that I was about.” Dylan told the audience that he was glad his songs were being honored, but they didn’t get to this point by themselves. The songwriter referred to his songs as “mystery stories,” the kind that Shakespeare saw when he was growing up.