The T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research has announced that Checotah native Carrie Underwood will be honored at its 38th Annual Honors Gala on Oct. 22 with the 2013 Artist Achievement Award. The gala will take place at the legendary Cipriani in New York.
Underwood will join other honorees including Jennifer Breithaupt, SVP of Marketing CITI (Spirit of Music Award), Brandon Steiner, CEO of Steiner Sports (Humanitarian of the Year Award), John Sykes, President of Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises (Lifetime Music Industry Achievement Award) and Target Corporation (Spirit of Excellence Award). Celebrity performers and presenters will be announced throughout the summer, according to a news release on Underwood’s website.
Since releasing her debut album in 2005, Underwood has sold more than 15 million albums and placed 17 No. 1 singles on the charts, eight of which she co-wrote. Her current album, “Blown Away,” made history by debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, making Underwood only the second country artist in the 47-year history of the chart to have each of their first four albums debut at No. 1. The platinum-selling “Blown Away” also debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, making her only the second country artist in history to have three consecutive albums debut at No. 1. She is a six-time Grammy winner, a two-time Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, a three-time Country Music Association and ACM Female Vocalist winner, and a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry. Underwood’s recently wrapped “Blown Away Tour” launched in the spring of 2012 and continued through May 2013, for a total of 112 dates in 110 cities, six countries, and three continents, playing for more than 1 million fans.
“When I started this Foundation with several of my peers in the music and entertainment business in honor of my son T.J., I wanted to do all that I could to make sure other families would not have to suffer the way my family did,” said Tony Martell, Founder & Chairman of the T.J. Martell Foundation, in the release. “We are thrilled to honor Carrie Underwood with this year’s Artist Achievement Award.”
Past honorees have included Former President George W. Bush and former President William J. Clinton, the late Frances Williams Preston, Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Anne Curry, Al Roker, Clive Davis, Arnold Palmer, Del Bryant, Scott Borchetta, Clarence Avant, Berry Gordy, Quincy Jones, the late Gil Freisen, Irving Azoff, Russell Simmons, Monte & Avery Lipman, Bruce Lundvall, John Esposito, Joel Katz and the late Ahmet Ertegun. The T.J. Martell New York Honors Gala is sponsored by American Airlines.
The T.J. Martell Foundation is the music industry’s largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS. The foundation, headquartered in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that 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 $250 million dollars for research that supports twelve top hospitals in the United States.