The National Museum of African American music celebrated Black Music Month by honoring a star-studded lineup of music industry trailblazers on June 19, 2015 during the My Music Matters: A Celebration of Legends Luncheon at the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville.
The luncheon, in its second year, honored five African American music trailblazers, presenting them with the Rhapsody & Rhythm Award. Dr. Bobby Jones, an inaugural recipient of NMAAM’s Rhapsody & Rhythm award in 2014, served as master of ceremonies. Guests enjoyed musical tributes from Jazz singer Sonja Hopkins, saxophonist Marcus Johnson and R&B vocalist Eric Copeland. A video tribute of each honoree was also presented featuring artists and music industry professionals including Kevon Edmonds, Janice Gaines, The McCrary Sisters, Ben and Jewel Tankard, The Wooten Brothers, Dyana Williams and others.
NMAAM featured industry icons and artists representative of R&B, Country, Jazz, Blues and/or Gospel music showing the diversity and significance of African American music, as well as their influence and longevity in the music industry.
[ezcol_1half]Michael Bivins was a founding member of the legendary R&B group New Edition and later formed pioneering Hip-Hop group Bel Biv Devoe. Bivins became the music industry’s first (and youngest) African- American indie-label president with his Biv Entertainment Company.[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]Donny Hathaway is a legendary singer, songwriter and keyboardist. His music is known for merging the melodic sounds of R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Classical and Rock genres paving the way for many African American Soul artist. [/ezcol_1half_end]
[ezcol_1half]Howard Hewett is an Urban Contemporary writer and producer, a former member of internationally touring group Shalimar and Billboard chart topping solo artist with R&B classic hits such as “I’m For Real,” “Stay” and more.[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end] Little Richard is a singer and songwriter who revolutionized the Rock-n-Roll genre fusing the fire of Traditional Gospel with driving upbeat piano riffs. He has been an influential figure in popular music an culture for more than six decades and plays a pivotal role in the formation of other genres. He has influenced singers and musicians across genres from Rock to Hip-Hop and changed American culture forever. [/ezcol_1half_end]
[ezcol_1half]CeCe Winans is a Grammy, Stellar and Dove Award winning Gospel artist. Having released over 16 full legnth albums, many of which were gold and platinum certified, CeCe has solidified herself as a Gospel industry icon. [/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end] [/ezcol_1half_end]