Powerhouse rock trio Rush will be named this year's Legend of Live at the 2010 Billboard Touring Awards in New York on Nov. 4.
The Legend of Live honors groups or individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to live music and the touring business, and acknowledges the recipients' commitment to the art of performing live and reaching fans through the concert experience.
Previous award recipients include Rolling Stones promoter Michael Cohl (2004), Cellar Door Concerts founder Jack Boyle (2005), Sir Elton John (2006), pioneering agent Frank Barsalona (2007), the Allman Brothers Band (2008) and Ozzy Osbourne (2009). The Billboard Touring Awards wraps the 7th annual Billboard Touring Conference, which takes place Nov 3-4 at the Sheraton NY.
Rush -- Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart -- have moved millions of concert tickets in their current lineup in place since 1974. The band's 2010 Time Machine tour played 45 shows in the U.S., Canada, and South America to sold out houses. Still a huge global concert draw, Rush have sold more than 2 million tickets in the past five years.
Classic Rush albums include 1976's 2112, 1981's Moving Pictures (played in its entirety on their '10 tour), 1996's Test for Echo, 2002's Vapor Trails and the latest studio album "Snakes & Arrows," which debuted in the #3 spot on the Billboard 200 upon its initial release in 2007, Rush's highest chart debut since 1993. This summer saw the release of "Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage", a documentary on the band's 40 year career, and the band's 20th studio album "Clockwork Angels" is due next year.
"With a remarkable body of live work over the years, altering the course of rock music and raising the bar as to what can be done onstage, along with the band's continued commitment to playing live, we think Rush are uniquely deserving of this award," says Ray Waddell, Billboard's executive director of content and programming, touring and live entertainment. "From the early days in the bars and clubs of Toronto to stadiums, amphitheaters and arenas around the world, Rush have epitomized professionalism and the spirit of live rock 'n roll, and they boast some of the most passionate and loyal fans in rock."
Jack Johnson To Receive Humanitarian Award
Also to be honored at the 2010 Touring Awards will be touring and recording artist/environmental activist Jack Johnson, who will be named the 2010 Humanitarian Award honoree. The Humanitarian Award recognizes the philanthropic efforts of a touring professional. Johnson's acknowledgment as the 2009 honoree reflects his involvement in a wide range of environmentally conscious and other philanthropic efforts.
Jack Johnson, and his wife Kim, have spent the last seven years effecting change in their home state of Hawaii and worldwide through involvement in many social and environmental issues. Their Kokua Hawaii Foundation and Kokua Festival support environmental education in Hawaii's schools and communities. Johnson's 2008 tour set a new precedent in the music industry by taking an eco-friendly approach to all aspects of production. In conjunction with that tour, Johnson launched the All At Once campaign and gave 100% of his tour profits to local non-profit partners through his newly established Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation. In 2010, Johnson's world tour in support of new album "To The Sea" continues to lead the way in sustainable touring efforts to reduce its environmental impact in significant ways. As in 2008, Johnson will once again donate 100% of his tour profits to charity.
The Johnsons created and produce the Kokua Festival, which now in its sixth year. The Festival raises funds for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation programs and also serves as an international environmental education event that puts into practice some of the most sophisticated and advanced green practices in the live music industry. The Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation has made over $750,000 in donations to date ,and as part of the 2010 world tour, will offer direct and matching donations to All At Once partner non-profits.
"Jack Johnson's efforts toward promoting environmental awareness and sustainability clearly reflect a deep personal commitment," says Waddell. "When it comes to his career, Johnson never places profits over doing the right thing. Billboard is thrilled to recognize Jack Johnson's ongoing dedication to making this world a better place."
Johnson's recognition follows previous Humanitarian Award winners Kevin Lyman (2009), Jon Bon Jovi (2008), Kevin Wall (2007), Music Rising (2006), Dave Matthews (2005) and Clear Channel Entertainment (2004).