His Aerosmith bandmates may have their gripes about frontman Steven Tyler, but the United Nations loves him.
Tyler will receive the Humanitarian Award from the Hospitality Committee of the United Nations Delegations, specifically for his work on behalf of Youth Villages via his Janie's Fund. The Youth Villages serve young girls who have been abused and neglected and takes its name from the Aerosmith hit "Janie's Got a Gun," which Tyler re-recorded country style for his solo album, We're All Somebody From Somewhere. Tyler will receive the award at the organization's annual Ambassadors Ball on December 3 in New York City.
In a statement, Tyler said that, "As a father to three daughters, a son, and, now a grandfather, it broke my heart to learn that each year in America alone 700,000 children are victims of serious abuse or neglect and 68,000 will be sexually abused. All abuse is wrong-- verbal, physical, sexual, emotional. We need to have better ways as parents to help our children and support them. Way too many kids are experiencing abuse, and we want to change that. Enough is enough. I personally know how addiction can fracture lives. I don't wish that on anyone. To use my voice and the voices of many others to help these girls once again find their voice is my mission."
HCUND co-chair Mel Gee Henderson also noted that, "In choosing this year' recipient, we searched diligently to find the humanitarian whose efforts are in harmony with the Secretary General, who will be saluted at this year's Ambassadors' Ball as his decade of UN leadership ends on December 31. We came to realize Steven Tyler is not only a gifted composer and musician with a great big voice but a soul with an even bigger heart who sincerely wants to help those suffering from the horrific pain of abuse."
Tyler is gearing up for Aerosmith's Aero-Vederici Baby Farewell Tour, which begins May 17 in Tel Aviv, Israel, with only European dates announced so far.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.