Andrew W.K. is the first-ever American Association of Suicidology Person of The Year

He plays Orpheum in Ybor City on April 29.

click to enlarge Andrew W.K., who plays Orpheum in Ybor City, Florida on April 29, 2018. - Nina Ottolino
Nina Ottolino
Andrew W.K., who plays Orpheum in Ybor City, Florida on April 29, 2018.

Andrew W.K. owns the distinction of being rock and roll's most-posi party starter, but the 38-year-old songwriter will have another accolade in his bag of happiness when he brings a new tour and album to Ybor City on April 29.

Yesterday, the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) named Andrew W.K. its inaugural Person of the Year.

"The inaugural Person of the Year Award will be presented to Andrew W.K. due to his consistent and powerful use of positivity to improve the lives of those who hear his music,“  wrote, Julie Cerel, PhD, President of AAS. ""Andrew’s message resonates with the field of suicide prevention in that he encourages people to use their capabilities to create a life worth living."

The AAS — a charitable non-profit suicide prevention organization and a suicide prevention membership organization — will present the award in Washington, D.C. this April during the 51st AAS Annual Conference, which a press says is the largest gathering of suicide prevention professionals, students, attempt and loss survivors, and clinicians in the United States.

“Words cannot adequately convey my astonishment at having been selected for this unique recognition,” W.K. said of the honor. “I’m grateful to the American Association of Suicidology for the incredibly valuable work they’ve done for so long, and continue to do now, when it’s needed more than ever.”

Read Andrew W.K.'s full statement on the distinction below this stream of his new single, "Music Is Worth Living For," below. More information on the gig is available via local.cltampa.com.

W.K.'s new album You're Not Alone will be released on March 2. Call your local record store to see if it is carrying the release. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, then please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Andrew W.K.
Sun. April 29, 7 p.m. $22.
Orpheum, 1915 E. 7th Ave., Ybor City.

"Words cannot adequately convey my astonishment at having been selected for this unique recognition. I'm grateful to the American Association of Suicidology for the incredibly valuable work they've done for so long, and continue to do now, when it's needed more than ever,” said Andrew W.K.

“My story is a familiar one: from a young age, I felt consistently uneasy in the world, and thus began an ongoing search for something to quell the sense of wrongness inside of me. I was lucky enough to discover a life's work which not only transmuted my darker tendencies into something brighter and more deserving of my energy, but also allowed me to amplify and share that quest with others. In my mission to find joyful meaning in life, I never imagined my rock and roll destiny would become a source of inspiration for those who also dwelled in the shadows. To reach into the abyss and somehow make contact with the unknown is both terrifying and miraculous, but even more terrifying and miraculous, is to reach into yourself and somehow make contact with your fellow man. It's in this quintessential form of contact - this primal physical and emotional connection - that the Truth about life must surely be found. This is our challenge - to see if we can find the other person inside of us, and us in them, and to let this process of enlightened discovery open our hearts, and purify our minds."

"I'd like to humbly accept this award on behalf of all the people who work everyday at forging this sacred human bond. I'd like to accept this award on behalf of music itself, and on behalf of the mysterious life-force feeling I simply call 'partying.' I'd like to accept this award on behalf of every person who has struggled and overcome, and struggled and fallen - for I have been both. I'd also like to accept this honor on behalf of every person who's lost someone - or lost themselves - to seemingly insurmountable darkness. In a world of confusion, distress, and extraordinary challenges, there are few efforts more worthwhile than devoting oneself to the raising of the collective human spirit. If any of our work can contribute to this vast emergency - this crisis of joy - then may the Party Gods grant us ever more strength, so we may all help make the world a partier place."

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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