The Black Music Industry Gathers to Celebrate the Living Legends Foundation’s Honorees with Special Guest Appearances by Cathy Hughes, Kelly Rowland, Bobby Brown, Tito Jackson and More
The Black Music and Entertainment industries gathered to celebrate the 2019 Living Legends Foundation’s honorees at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood with special guest appearances by multiple award winners Cathy Hughes, Kelly Rowland, Bobby Brown, YoYo, Freda Payne, among others. Famed musician Tito Jackson performed music from this album, Tito Time including his new single, “One Way Street.”
This year’s event chairpersons were husband-and-wife team Ray Chew and Vivian Scott Chew of Chew Entertainment. The awards ceremony was hosted by DeDe McGuire, award-winning radio personality of the nationally syndicated show DeDe In The Morning.
“Once again, this year’s sold-out awards gala proved the importance and purpose of the Living Legends Foundation and its mission,” says David C. Linton, Chairman of the LLF. “Across the board, we’ve increased the growth and development of the organization’s revenue and overall brand awareness. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are grateful and would like to thank everyone for their continued support over the years.”
The 2019 distinguished list of honorees included Dyana Williams, the co-founder of Black Music Month, and the CEO of Influence Entertainment, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented by Urban One’s founder Cathy Hughes. In her speech, Williams shared the importance of using our collective voices as global ambassadors of the music/entertainment community.
Music pioneer Sidney Miller, founder and publisher of BRE magazine (Black Radio Exclusive), was presented with the A.D. Washington Chairman’s Award by LLF Chairman David C. Linton. Miller shared the importance of ownership and legacy building. Miller is currently working on his forthcoming book, Backstage with Black Music in America, and making plans for a BRE Conference Reunion. He is also opening the Adderley School of Music (Cannonball and Nat Adderley) at the historic HBCU’s Florida A&M University.
Entertainment executive Phil Thornton, Senior Vice President/General Manager of RCA Inspiration, was presented with the Gospel Music Executive Award by Grammy Award winner and Destiny Child’s member Kelly Rowland. The under forty honoree inspired the audience with his vision for the future.
Maurice White, Vice President of Promotion of eOne Entertainment Group, received the Music Label Executive Award, presented by his daughter, Alexis White and Shadow Stokes. Williams shared the importance of God, family, and community. Legendary Public Relations executive Karen Lee, Senior Vice President of W&W Public Relations was presented with the Media Executive Award by Gail Mitchell, music journalist and LLF Advisory Board member. Lee’s storied career demonstrates the importance of loyalty, longevity, and professionalism and how all are essentials in business.
Broadcast owner Hymen Childs of Service Broadcasting Group received the Broadcast Icon Award, which was accepted by Geo Cook, Operations Manager of K-104, who shared Childs’ longtime commitment to black music, black radio, and the black community.
Former music executive Sheila Coates, founder and creator of BYOB–Be Your Own Brand, was presented with the Entrepreneur Award by LLF’s founder Ray Harris. The ten-year business owner not only showed how she stepped out on faith, but how she managed to transition into another career. She shared how tapping into your individuality is the key ingredient to success.
Dedra N. Tate, CEO and President of Unlimited Contacts, received the Mike Bernardo Executive Award, which was presented by rap legend and radio host YoYo. Tate, a multi-talented entrepreneur, is also part of the team to open the Universal Hip Hop Museum in 2023 in the Bronx, New York.
Radio broadcast legends Frank Ski of V-103 Radio Atlanta; and Steve Hegwood, CEO and President of Core Communicators, were presented with the Jerry Boulding Radio Executive Award by Amy Witherite and Elroy Smith respectively. Both career broadcasters have given back to their communities in many ways and have made and continue to make significant contributions to the next generation of broadcasters.
The sponsors for this prestigious event were Columbia Records, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Group, Warner Chappell Music Publishing, All Access Music Group, Atlantic Records, City National Bank and eOne Music. Media partners included EURweb.com, HITS, Moses Media, Music Industry Quarterly, Radio Facts and The Urban Buzz. REVEL Spirits provided the complimentary cocktails. Gifts for the honorees and guests were generously provided by Bobby Brown Foods, C.E.L.L., Creme of Nature, Discovery Networks, FLO Wine by Marcus Johnson, Kalimba Songs Coffee Company, Miss Jessie’s, Promise by Jennifer Lopez, SESAC, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, U.S. Bank and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The Living Legends Foundation is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization and has been funded primarily with corporate contributions and individual donations. The 28-year-old organization has expanded its mission to assist those who have served the music industry and who have a confirmable need. This assistance is provided in a manner that maintains the dignity of those who may receive financial help. Many former music industry employees worked during a time when 401Ks and retirement packages were not available—and even today, in this era of downsizing and mergers, the industry’s lack of long-term career stability has become more commonplace. Proceeds from the event will enable the LLF to continue to aid those in need, as well as fund the Living Legends Foundation Scholarship Program, which helps the educational pursuits of the next generation of music makers and marketers at three HBCUs.