Graham Nash Set to Receive John Lennon Real Love Award


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UPDATE (Nov. 13): Marc Cohn and Bettye LaVette have been added to the lineup for the 43rd annual John Lennon Tribute on Saturday, Dec. 2, at Town Hall in New York. Rosanne Cash and Judy Collins were already announced as performers at the event, where Graham Nash will become the ninth recipient of the John Lennon Real Love Award.

LaVette will sing a stripped-down version of “Watching the Wheels,” a song from the 1980 Lennon/Yoko Ono album Double Fantasy that became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981. She will also perform “It’s So Hard” from Lennon’s 1971 album Imagine. LaVette is making her seventh appearance at the annual tribute event.

Cohn will be making his second tribute appearance and his first in five years.

PREVIOUSLY (July 10): Graham Nash will become the ninth recipient of the John Lennon Real Love Award at the 43rd annual John Lennon Tribute on Saturday, Dec. 2, at Town Hall in New York. Previous recipients include Natalie Merchant, Patti Smith, Ani DiFranco, Donovan and Rosanne Cash.

The event, staged by the nonprofit Theatre Within, will be held days before the 43rd anniversary of Lennon’s murder on Dec. 8, 1980. The award draws its name from The Beatles’ 1996 hit “Real Love,” which Lennon wrote and recorded in the 1970s.


Nash will play some of his favorite Lennon/Beatles classics and will be joined by such artists as Cash, Judy Collins and Rita Coolidge. Drummer/percussionist Rich Pagano, a founding member of the Fab Faux, will serve as music director for the 15th consecutive year.

“This is a very special award,” Nash said in a statement. “I thank Yoko [Ono] and the Theatre Within for thinking of me. Over many years, I watched John and Yoko ‘fight the good fight’ for many whose voices were not being heard, a fight that Yoko continues to this day. I’m proud to be associated with the many fine artists who were previously honored with the John Lennon Real Love Award.”

In a statement, Ono said, “With its joyful annual John Lennon Tribute and John Lennon Real Love Project, Theatre Within is furthering the vision that John and I shared for a better world.”

Nash, 81, won a Grammy in 1970 as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash, which were voted best new artist. He is a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was inducted as a member of CSN in 1997 and as a member of The Hollies in 2010.

Proceeds from the Tribute support Theatre Within’s ongoing free workshops in creative expression and mindfulness, including the John Lennon Real Love Project songwriting program.

In 2023, for the fourth consecutive year, Theatre Within is providing 200 free workshops for children and adults impacted by cancer through the Red Door Community (formerly Gilda’s Club NYC) and other regional cancer support communities.

Since the John Lennon Real Love Project’s elementary and middle school program launched in the spring of 2021, Theatre Within has brought the program to 17 schools.

Tickets for Theatre Within’s 43rd Annual John Lennon Tribute will go on sale on July 22 at 12 p.m. ET at LennonTribute.org. Fans are invited to join “Friends of the Annual John Lennon Tribute” at LennonTribute.org/join-friends, where VIP packages are available.

The annual tribute is produced in association with Music Without Borders. It remains the only Lennon tribute concert in the world that is sanctioned by Ono.

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