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MMF Chairman of the Board Al Bell honored with 2011 GRAMMY® Trustees Award

December 22, 2010

The Memphis Music Foundation is excited to announce that the MMF Chairman of the Board, Al Bell, has been selected to receive a 2011 GRAMMY® Trustees Award, the highest honor recognizing individuals for outstanding contribution to the music industry in a non-performing capacity.

There is a special page up on the MMF website now with more information about Al Bell and videos available for download, and you can check out some excerpts from the official press release below.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  The Memphis Music Foundation and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, located at the original site of Stax Records, proudly congratulates Al Bell on receiving the highest honor the music industry offers, the 2011 GRAMMY® Trustees Award, given by the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy. Bell now joins the pantheon of musical icons who have received the prestigious honor, including the Beatles, Walt Disney, George and Ira Gershwin, Berry Gordy, Duke Ellington, and Stax Records’ co-founder Estelle Axton.

For Bell, the honor represents a milestone in his lifetime love of music and work in the industry.

“The phone call I received from Neil Portnow, president of NARAS’ GRAMMY® Foundation, letting me know that I was going to be a recipient of the Trustees Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Bell, “was both humbling and honoring. This is the most meaningful recognition I could have ever hoped to achieve from my industry. I sincerely thank NARAS and the GRAMMY® Foundation for honoring me with their highest award.”

“This is great news for Al Bell and Memphis Music,” said Dean Deyo, president of the Memphis Music Foundation. “Al started developing young artists during his Stax days over 40 years ago and continues to nurture artist development as chairman of the Memphis Music Foundation.  Memphis music is something very special and one of the main reasons for its success has been Al Bell.  It just may be a bit early to give him a Lifetime Achievement Award, because he is not done yet.  Al Bell is just getting started.”

Kirk Whalum, internationally renowned musician and 12-time GRAMMY® nominee, now CEO for the Soulsville Foundation in Memphis, which includes the Stax Museum, Stax Music Academy and The Soulsville Charter School, explains, “There’s a very good reason that the name Al Bell is mentioned, the voice of Al Bell is heard, and the handsome and distinguished face of Al Bell is seen more than any other name, voice, and face in the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. It’s because of his body of work.  Yes he remains a creative, viable, and avant-garde force in the industry. But who wouldn’t give a limb to have all his ‘firsts’ and accomplishments in one’s rearview mirror?”

For Bell, the GRAMMY® Award not only marks his lifetime of work in the music industry, but also gives more fuel to what he plans to do now and in the future.

“When Mr. Portnow said ‘Lifetime Achievement Award,” Bell continues, “I didn’t think about my past. It sounded prophetic. Because what has happened to me is that I’ve begun to pursue that which I have learned in life and I’m about the business of achieving it. It’s a beginning for me. With this award and through my role with the Memphis Music Foundation, I am beginning my lifetime evolvement and development in the recorded music industry.”


For more information, please contact:

Brian O’Neal • (310) 702-8844 •

Tim Sampson •  (901) 261-6324 •

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2010 12:46 pm

    Great, the man has been there for so many people.It is his time!

  2. December 22, 2010 10:44 pm

    I’m so excited for you Al I feel like I’m up for the grammy LOL! “Congratulations” May God continue to Bless you – Oh I posted you on my wall on Face Book.

    Take Care & Happy Holidays to You & yours

    Bink Wills

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