Imagine this: Natalie Merchant honored with Lennon award

At this stage of her life, Natalie Merchant is more proud of getting an honor named for John Lennon because of what it says about her activism than her music.

She's the sixth recipient of the John Lennon Real Love Award, and will headline an upcoming tribute concert to the former Beatle. It will be held in New York on December 6.

Merchant works three times a week with disadvantaged children where she lives in New York's Hudson Valley. She's worked with the homeless, and got to know Yoko Ono through a campaign to stop fracking in upstate New York.

Aside from her activism, she's also concentrating on helping her teen-aged daughter through high school and into college.