The T.J. Martell Foundation in Nashville honored Oklahoma native Vince Gill with the Frances Williams Preston Lifetime Music Achievement Award last weekend.
The T.J. Martell Foundation is billed as 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 which otherwise might not be funded.
The award, one of the foundation’s highest, is named in honor of BMI pioneer, Frances Williams Preston, whose leadership and contributions to the Nashville music community and beyond are legendary. In addition to her many accomplishments at BMI, Preston was president of the T.J. Martell Foundation Board of Directors and founder of the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Preston was the first recipient of this prestigious award in 2009, and it was later awarded to Michael Bolton (2011) and Kris Kristofferson (2012) in her name, according to BMI.com.
Gill, a friend of Preston’s, said, “I couldn’t ask for anyone better to take my interest to heart and look after me. At the end of the day, I knew she was going to represent me and my fellow songwriters by doing a first-class job. She seemed to love the people and the songs more than the work she was doing.”
The T.J. Martell Foundation honored Gill, an award-winning BMI singer-songwriter and Country Music Hall of Famer at its Fifth Annual Nashville Honors Gala on Sunday at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville. For more information about the foundation, go to http://tjmartell.org.