Canadian producer David Foster, whose long list of credits include hits for Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston, will be honoured for his humanitarian work at the 48th annual Juno gala dinner & awards on March 16, in London, Ontario.
Foster, 69, created the David Foster Foundation to raise organ donation awareness and provides financial support to Canadian families in need of life-saving transplants. Over three decades, the organization has helped over 1,100 families with children in need and provided millions of dollars in financial support. In the past 20 years, Foster has supported over 400 charities, including the annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, The Andre Agassi Foundation and Carousel of Hope.
Back in 1985, he co-wrote and co-produced 1985's "Tears Are Not Enough" for the Northern Lights Canadian supergroup collective -- Canada's response to Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" -- for Ethiopian famine relief which raised a reported $3.2 million (CAD) with a portion earmarked for Canadian food banks.
"It is with great honour that I accept the 2019 Humanitarian Award," said Foster in a statement. "I created the David Foster Foundation in 1986 after meeting a young girl from my hometown who was awaiting a liver transplant. The experience had a profound impact on me, and that's how the Foundation was born. I am fortunate to be able to support many charities and organizations in need, either with my time or through donations, and it has become one of my life's passions. The gift of music has brought me many rewards, and what better way to pay tribute to those gifts than to pay it forward. Giving back is not just a responsibility, it's a necessity."
The Juno's Humanitarian Award recognizes philanthropic efforts by Canadian artists and industry pioneers who have made a significant and meaningful impact on social welfare around the world, according to the press release. The presentation will be live-streamed on CBC Music from the London Convention Centre. The televised awards show takes place the following evening, and usually takes a moment to acknowledge the humanitarian award recipient on air.
"We are thrilled to present David Foster with this year's Humanitarian Award," said Allan Reid, president & CEO, CARAS/The Juno Awards & MusiCounts. "David has donated his time, talent, and resources throughout his career, making extraordinary contributions and changing lives, especially here at home through The David Foster Foundation. He has tapped into his vast network of friends and collaborators to raise millions of dollars for worthy causes. We are proud to commemorate David's philanthropic achievements at the 2019 JUNO Awards with this well-deserved honour."
Foster is a well-decorated Canadian, having received the country's highest honors for a citizen, the Order of Canada and the officer of the Order of Canada. He has also been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Canada's Walk of Fame. The U.S. has also recognized him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and induction into the American Songwriters Halls of Fame. He has won six Juno Awards, 16 Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe and been nominated three times for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
In 2018, Foster set his sights on Broadway. He is working on a Betty Boop production as well as an adaptation of Lucky Us with Jewel. He also co-produced Michael Bublé's new album, Love.