Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Saturday, 7 February 2009

Diamond honoured for charity work

Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond thanked his mother for buying him a cheap guitar as a boy

Singer songwriter Neil Diamond has been honoured for his charity work by organisers of the Grammy Awards.

The 68-year-old was named the MusiCares Person of the Year at a gala dinner in honour of his 50-year career and his charitable donations over the years.

Artists including Coldplay and the Foo Fighters performed some of Diamond's greatest hits at a special concert held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Diamond's best known hits include Sweet Caroline and Forever in Blue Jeans.

The star recently donated all the proceeds he made from concert merchandise to relief efforts for Texas areas ravaged by Hurricane Ike.

Speaking at the event the star thanked his mother, Rose, who was in the audience.

Grammy celebrations

He recalled how his parents had bought him a $10 (7) guitar as a young boy in Brooklyn.

"They paid it off a dollar a week for 10 weeks," he said.

"It was a good investment, Mom. You invested $10 and made a life for me."

The Jonas Brothers opened the show and Kid Rock, Faith Hill, Adele and Jennifer Hudson also performed.

The ceremony is part of celebrations leading up to the 51st Grammy Awards which takes place on 8 February.

Previous recipients of the prize include former Beach Boys star Brian Wilson and Aretha Franklin.

MusiCares was established by the US Recording Academy in 1989 to provide assistance to musicians in times of financial, medical or personal emergency.

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