Jackson Browne Receives Duke LEAF Award

March 31, 2010

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084, tdlucas@duke.edu

DURHAM, N.C. -- Singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jackson Browne will be the 2010 recipient of The Duke LEAF Award for Lifetime Environmental Achievement in the Fine Arts. Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment will present the award to Browne, a social and environmental justice advocate, April 17 on Duke’s campus.

Actor Robert Redford received the inaugural award, which was established by the Nicholas School in 2009 to honor artists whose works have lifted the human spirit by conveying our profound spiritual and material connection to the Earth, thereby inspiring others to help forge a more sustainable future for all.

Browne was selected by the executive committee of the school’s Board of Visitors, which cited "his extraordinary body of work as a songwriter and musician that reminds us of the magical and redemptive connection that exists between all peoples and the natural world, and of the mysteries of time and distance that constrain our lives." In recognition of this, as well as his "early, strong and untiring advocacy for the planet," Browne will be presented with the LEAF award in a public ceremony at Page Auditorium beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday during Duke Alumni Reunion Weekend.

 "Jackson Browne is no pretender. While inspiring a generation to work for a better life and a better future for our children through his music, he has advocated for environmental stewardship and has a house that runs entirely on wind and solar power," said William L. Chameides, dean of the Nicholas School. "Browne exemplifies what the Duke LEAF Award is all about. We are thrilled to have him come to the Duke campus to receive the award."

While in Durham, Browne will meet with members of the Duke community. He will be accompanied by artist Dianna Cohen, whose primary medium is plastic shopping bags. A showing of her multicolored wall hangings will be held on campus during their visit.

Browne is listed by Rolling Stone Magazine as being one of the most influential singer/songwriters of his generation. He is known for bringing the personal and political to his music with such songs as “Lives in the Balance,” “For Everyman,” “The Pretender,” “Before the Deluge” and “The Drums of War.”

He has been honored with inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2004) and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame (2007).

His legacy for social and environmental justices is almost as influential and long-lasting as his music. He received the NARM Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award in 2008, and was presented an honorary Doctorate of Music in 2004 by Occidental College in Los Angeles for “a remarkable musical career that has successfully combined an intensely personal artistry with a broader vision of social justice.” In 2002, he was the fourth recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, given to artists whose works exemplify the environmental and social values that were essential to the California-born author.

Browne has been dedicated to fighting nuclear energy since he founded Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) in 1979 with colleagues Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt and John Hall. MUSE held a series of five No Nukes concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City in the late 1970s.

In an interview with Rolling Stone’s David Fricke in 2008, Browne said, "We’re all in the same boat. That’s always been the subject of my songs. We only have a little time. It’s a mess, so you do everything you can."

The inscription on the Duke LEAF Award reads, “Given to an artist whose work has lifted the human spirit by conveying our profound spiritual and material connection to the Earth and thereby inspiring others to help forge a more sustainable future for all.”

For more information about the award and events surrounding his visit, go to http://www.nicholas.duke/leaf.

The Nicholas School of the Environment is one of the world’s leading graduate and professional schools for the interdisciplinary study of the environment. Its mission is to create knowledge and train leaders of consequence for a sustainable future, through a new paradigm in research and education; one that attempts to understand the earth and the environment as a whole and use that understanding to foster and spread the environmental ethic.