Neil Young

1994 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Popular Music)

Neil Young titled a recent platinum album Harvest Moon, alluding directly to his 1971 mega-hit Harvest, and his remarkable endurance in an industry noted for rapid obsolescence.

Spanning the generations, this distinctive singer-songwriter-musician, born in Toronto in 1945 and raised there and in Winnipeg, speaks to successive groups of young people in a voice indelibly his own. He once said, "Our parents were into Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney and Perry Como - now I'm Perry Como," but his young listeners disagree. A group of alternative rock artists recorded a dozen songs from his career in The Bridge: A Tribute to Neil Young in 1989, and Spin magazine named him "Artist of the Year" in 1993. A founder of the band Buffalo Springfield, he was also associated with the "supergroup" Crosby Stills Nash and Young.

Whether as collaborator or solo artist, in acoustic ballads, sweet country or hard rock, making biting political comments or personal allusions, he has an unmistakable sound: distinctively high-pitched, at once soft and forceful. An enormous success in the United States, where he was inducted into the Juno Awards Hall of Fame in 1982, he has always been recognized as a Canadian musician. His moving title track for the film Philadelphia was nominated for a 1993 Oscar.