Saturday, June 22, 2024

Ernie Isley Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Guitar Center Music Foundation

Ernie Isley
(L-R) Tracy Isley, Ernie Isley and Ronald Isley of the Isley Brothers, and Kandy Johnson Isley attend the Pre-GRAMMY Gala & GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Jon Platt at The Beverly Hilton on February 03, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

*Ernie Isley, the iconic guitarist and member of The Isley Brothers, was presented with a lifetime achievement award by The Guitar Center Music Foundation at their second annual benefit concert and fundraiser held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on April 4th.

“It’s such an honor to be a part of this because Ernie’s influence has been truly unrecognized for a long time,” said award presenter and fellow guitarist-songwriter Vernon Reid of the rock band Living Colour, Billboard reports

Reid added, “It’s so long overdue that it’s ridiculous. So this is a measure of justice as well. As a kid, I used to get guitar magazines and I’d see Duane Allman on a cover. I’d see Dicky Betts on a cover. Or I’d see Rory Gallagher, who I love, on a cover. But the one person I didn’t see on those magazines was the person who had the most influence on me. And that’s Mr. Ernie Isley.”

In his speech, Ernie made reference to his Isley Brothers siblings. “We’ve been blessed with longevity and the music. This is a highly distinguished honor and privilege. I really don’t have the words to describe it. Just thanks,” he said.

In a video clip, his brother Ronald noted, “Didn’t I tell you that you’d be the greatest; the one to represent the family. That’ you’d be one of the greatest guitar players there is and one of the greatest songwriters? You know I love you. Congratulations, son. You finally made it!” 

Ernie Isley

According to Billboard, the proceeds from the annual fundraiser support music education and therapy programs.

Guitar Center’s website states: “Since its founding in 2005, the foundation’s charitable efforts have put instruments in the hands of over 200,000 people. It has a rich history of supporting musicians through education, therapy programs and partnering with other non-profit organizations. Coinciding with Guitar Center’s upcoming 54th anniversary, we’ve made a sizeable commitment to the Guitar Center Music Foundation to expand its mission to more individuals across the country.”

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