Gibson Brands is providing a $100,000 fund to Belmont University in honor of Les Paul, whose 100th birthday would have been today, June 9. “The Les Paul Music Innovation Award” (powered by Gibson) salutes the life and contributions of Les Paul by providing annual funds to students and faculty of Belmont’s Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business.
“Les’ life and name are synonymous with talent, quality and creativity,” commented Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman/CEO, Gibson Brands. “To honor his legacy of being one of the best music innovators of all time, we are assisting the future generations of Belmont music students and faculty with their dreams.”
“We give our most sincere thanks to the Gibson Foundation for their generous gift bearing the name of Les Paul, a true visionary and creative genius who possessed an unmatched entrepreneurial spirit and who will inspire and support yet another generation,” stated Doug Howard, Dean of the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, Belmont University.
Les Paul was born on June 9, 1915 and became an internationally celebrated jazz, country and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier and inventor. He is widely considered to be the single most important figure in the mass popularization of the solid-body electric guitar and is perhaps best known today for the iconic instrument he designed, the Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. He is also credited with developing many modern-day recording innovations including overdubbing, tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording and his innovative talents in design, songwriting and guitar playing continue to influence modern day guitarists across the world in nearly every genre of music. Among his many honors, Paul is the only person to be included in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.