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T.J. Martell Foundation honors Amy Grant with Tony Martell Outstanding Entertainment Achievement Award at 2020 Honors Gala

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Wed, Feb 26th 2020 02:00 pm

Reba McEntire gives warmhearted intro to Grant, followed by magical performance by Vince Gill & Grant's daughter Corrina 

T.J. Martell Foundation – a music industry nonprofit funding innovative medical research focused on treatments and cures for cancer – honored Amy Grant with the Tony Martell Outstanding Entertainment Achievement Award at its 2020 Honors Gala. The foundation topped its fundraising record at the 2020 gala, surpassing $1 million. The 12th annual event was emceed by Charles Esten at the Omni Nashville Hotel on Monday.

Reba McEntire had the gala guests laughing – and in tears – over her warmhearted introduction of Grant, followed by a very special magical moment when Vince Gill and Grant’s daughter, Corrina, joined her father on the keys during his touching performance of “When My Amy Prays."

Upon accepting her award, Grant gracefully noted, "The world will be changed in unimaginable ways because of our generosity and our effort. All of us in this room tonight have learned the gift that, if we give what we have, there will always be enough; there will be more than we thought was there; that we can channel every good thing if we will just simply just open up. So thank you so much for this feeling of being buoyed up. I just want to finish strong … this race." 

The landmark occasion celebrated a new class of local honorees, as they were acknowledged for their professional accomplishments, community spirit and philanthropy, in front of an at-capacity crowd of supporters. Along with Grant, the Music City game-changers included: president of Morris Higham Management, Clint Higham – Joel A. Katz Music is Medicine Chairman’s Award; associate director for clinical research and director of phase one research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Dr. Jordan Berlin – Medical Research Advancement Award; commercial real estate developer and CEO of Hall | Emery, Patrick G. Emery – Spirit of Nashville Award; and community builders Laurie and Jim Seabury – Lifetime Humanitarian Award.

Grant's career spans more than 40 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into becoming an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. With three multi-Platinum albums, six Platinum albums and four Gold albums, her total career album sales have exceeded 30 million. Grant’s chart success has been consistent throughout her career, with six No. 1 hits, 10 Top 40 pop singles, 17 Top 40 adult contemporary tracks and multiple contemporary Christian chart-toppers. In addition to her six Grammy Awards, Grant has earned 26 Dove Awards (including four Artist of the Year Awards) and has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as the Music City Walk of Fame.

Conventional wisdom has it that Grant put contemporary Christian music on the map becoming the first CCM artist to have a Platinum record, the first to hit No. 1 on the pop charts and the first to perform at the Grammys. With that, her legacy as one of the most influential artists of the past four decades is assured. In April of 2016, Grant celebrated the 25th anniversary of her iconic hit “Baby Baby” with a worldwide release of the song featuring pop sensation Tori Kelly. “Tennessee Christmas” released in late 2016, marking Grant’s first all-new holiday album in nearly 20 years.

The T.J. Martell Foundation was founded in 1975 by music industry executive Tony Martell and his colleagues in loving memory of his son, T.J., who died of leukemia. The foundation has provided more than $280 million for research at flagship hospitals in the U.S. 

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