Blackbird Academy Student Honored at MusiCares Annual Gala

Music student/artist David Francisco was honored at MusiCares’ Annual Gala benefitting the MusiCares Foundation on Friday, Feb. 10, for his bravery in battling his way back from a horrible accident to make music once again. The MusiCares Annual Gala, held in Los Angeles two nights before the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, also honored Tom Petty as the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year.

Francisco’s life was altered last April when a driver ran a red light and hit him while he was riding his bike home from Nashville’s Blackbird Academy where he was studying music production. The accident landed the 24-year old singer/songwriter at The Shepherd Center in Atlanta fighting to regain his ability to walk.

After 10 months and now walking with assistive devices, Francisco has returned to Blackbird and is realizing his dream of making music. The music community has rallied around him led by Blackbird owner John McBride, and he was honored by Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick at the annual 2016 Pensado Awards in Los Angeles. MusiCares also stepped up to help the Francisco family with the mountain of medical expenses incurred since Francisco’s injury.

“David is an extraordinary young man,” said Debbie Carroll, Senior Executive Director of MusiCares. “He has faced one of the biggest challenges one could ever face:  The loss of one’s mobility.  It has been our honor to walk through this with him.”

To celebrate his triumphant return to Blackbird, Francisco is releasing a 7-song EP Colors written and recorded before his accident. A short documentary detailing Francisco’s powerful story, Back to Blackbird, is being shot which includes “It Isn’t Easy,” a song on the new EP, as its theme song.

“This EP is a celebration of my versatility as an artist and producer,” said Francisco. “I paint with many different colors, hence the name. Most of the instruments you hear were played by me. I am so grateful to be alive and be able to share my music with the world and all the wonderful people who have helped me get to this point,” he says of his EP, Colors.  “Music is the best way I know to communicate. So, I hope everyone enjoys this and the grateful spirit in which it was created.”

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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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