T.J. Martell Foundation to Receive Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award at Music Biz 2016 Convention in Nashville

tj martell foundation

February 23, 2016 – The Music Business Association (Music Biz) is proud to present its prestigious Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award to the T.J. Martell Foundation in recognition of its four decades of peerless charitable and philanthropic contributions to leukemia, cancer, and AIDS research, among many other accomplishments. The award presentation will take place during the Music Biz 2016 Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, May 18, at the Renaissance Nashville Downtown Hotel in Nashville. It will be accepted by T.J. Martell Foundation CEO Laura Heatherly and feature a video message from Founder and Chairman Tony Martell.

“The T.J. Martell Foundation has been a guiding light in the music industry for more than 40 years, providing a strong and highly successful model for other music-based charitable efforts to follow,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “From major industry events such as the annual Honors Gala to local fundraising efforts throughout the U.S., the T.J. Martell Foundation has generated more than $270 million in donations toward leukemia, cancer, and AIDS research. Their efforts embody the charitable spirit of our award namesake Harry Chapin, and we are pleased to honor them with this award.”

“Harry Chapin was one of music’s great philanthropists, and we are thrilled to receive an award dedicated to his legacy,” said Laura Heatherly, CEO of the T.J. Martell Foundation. “Ever since our Founder Tony Martell promised his son T.J., who lost his life to leukemia, that he would raise $1 million for cancer research, it has been our mission to fulfill that promise, and we’re proud to have exceeded that mark more than 270 times. We will not stop until a cure is found, and we encourage everyone in the music industry to join with us as we continue to march toward a future without leukemia, cancer, or AIDS.”

The Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award was created in 1981 to honor the legacy of Folk-Rock singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, who fought tirelessly to end world hunger and received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1987 for his philanthropic work. He played a major part in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977 and co-founded the charitable organization World Hunger Year, which received the proceeds from merchandise sales at his concerts. Chapin wrote the #1 hit “Cat’s in the Cradle”; top 40 singles “Taxi,” “W*O*L*D,” and “Sequel”; and scored a Gold album with 1974’s Verities & Balderdash. Previous recipients of the Award have included organizations such as Live Aid, Hands Across America, and Rock the Vote as well as artists such as Martina McBride, Dee Snider, Annie Lennox, Melissa Etheridge, Norman Lear, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt.

Music Biz 2016, which will return to Nashville from May 16-18, is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, and learn about new trends and products impacting the music business. Registration is open now, with early bird discounts available until March 11, 2016. For more information or to sign up for the conference, visit


About the T.J. Martell Foundation
Founded in 1975 by veteran music industry executive Tony Martell, the T.J. Martell Foundation is the music industry’s largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer, and AIDS. The Foundation sources and supports early-stage research projects aimed at developing more effective clinical treatments for patients that otherwise might not be funded. It got its start shortly after Tony’s son, T.J., passed away from leukemia at age 19, leading Tony to enlist music industry friends like Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington for a fundraiser at Buddy Rich’s nightclub in New York. They raised $50,000, giving birth to the Foundation. Since then, it has raised more than $270 million, which has been successfully leveraged into several billion dollars in additional funding from larger funding sources.