Celebrating 100 Years of the Black American Music Art Form
Honorees Include Alicia Keys, Grandmaster Flash,
Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis & More
Read More Over At Billboard Here
ATLANTA (Sept. 13, 2023) – Today, The Black American Music Association and its Board of Directors, led by Co-Founders Michael Mauldin and Demmette Guidry, announces The ICE Medal of Honor inaugural celebration at Atlanta’s prestigious Ray Charles Performing Arts Center at Morehouse College on Sunday, October 15, 2023. This groundbreaking event will be a historic Black tie evening honoring and paying tribute to the legends, creative visionaries, and trailblazers within Black American music, who have captivated audiences worldwide and left an everlasting impact on the cultural landscape.
Among the distinguished recipients of The ICE Medal of Honor are some of the most remarkable names in the industry, including:
- Alicia Keys – The Ella Fitzgerald “Gold Standard Award”
- Grandmaster Flash – “Transformative Award”
- Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis – “Creative Impact Award”
- Robert F. Smith (Philanthropist) – The Ray Charles/Harry Belafonte “Patron of Arts Award”
- Suzanne de Passe (Motown Productions’ 1st Black female president) – The Suzanne de Passe “Trailblazer Award”
- Jeffrey Harleston (Universal Music Group) – Pace/Harrell “Executive Leadership Award”
- A special salute to the iconic Michael Jackson with the establishment of the Michael Jackson ICON award
The evening will provide music direction from the incomparable Ray Chew, poetic interpretation of colorful era’s by Marcus Amaker and segment curation by the legendary Wyclef Jean and gospel great Donald Lawrence. Hosted by various A list-celebrity talent, the ICE Medal of Honor seeks to shine a spotlight on the indelible contributions made by artists and executives who have enriched the world with their talents and also paved the way for generations to come. The ICE (Imperial Crown of Excellence) will serve as a beacon of recognition & education of the Black American music art form and an ode to the resilience, innovation, and brilliance of its creatives.
Executive Producers of the ICE-Medal of Honor are BAM-Association Co-Founders Michael Mauldin & Demmette Guidry, along with Derrick Williams of DNA Media Group and Co-Executive producer Jermaine Dupri (who as Hall of Fame song writer, producer & CEO is celebrating 30 years of So So Def). The program is being produced by Mauldin & Williams and Directed by Kevin Swain.
Starting at 7 pm ET, guests will experience a poetic evening of elegance, music, inspiration, education and celebration of the last 100 years of Black music excellence. Attendees can expect a captivating blend of live performances, heartfelt speeches, moving tributes and authentic storytelling that reflect the profound influence of these music luminaries.
“We are thrilled to launch the ICE Medal of Honor and to recognize these outstanding individuals who have made an enduring mark on the world through their art and creativity,” said Michael Mauldin, Co-Producer and visionary behind the event. “This celebration is a testament to the power of Black American music in shaping culture and inspiring generations.”
Among those recognized on October 15 are icons of legendary status such as the highly acclaimed GRAMMY winning producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis; who are celebrating fifty years of success and professional partnership within the business of music. As well as those who have made their impact in today’s musical landscape such as Alicia Keys. Recipient of The Ella Fitzgerald “Gold Standard Award” Alicia Keys first made her mark with chart-topping 2001 debut Songs in A Minor. Since then, the contemporary artist has won 15 GRAMMY Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 9 Billboard Music Awards and 7 BET Awards to date.
A seminal hip hop founder, Grandmaster Flash is accepting the “Transformative Award.” He has been recognized as the first DJ to play the turntables as a musical instrument, helping to elevate the status of the DJ to a masterful, artistic position. In 2007, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five became the first hip hop group ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award, The BET Icon Award and many others already under his belt.
In addition to those who have made musical contributions, the ICE Medal of Honor will also honor those creative visionaries and business trailblazers who have made indelible contributions to Black American Music. Among those are philanthropist and founder of the technology software private equity firm Vista Equity Partners; Robert F. Smith and Suzanne de Passe, Motown Productions’ first Black female president and discoverer of The Jackson 5 and The Commodores. Rounding out the list of Award winners is Executive Leader Jeffrey Harleston General Counsel, EVP of Business & Legal Affairs of Universal Music Group. Harleston is also Co-Founder of the UMG Task Force For Meaningful Change, an organization formed within UMG in the summer of 2020 to identify, coordinate and implement social change initiatives specifically directed at the Black and Latino communities. Harleston has been named one of Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100” and is annually recognized by Billboard on the magazine’s “Power 100” list of the most powerful executives in the music industry.
With the arts, community, education, mentorship and internship being a driving factor and focus of the Black American Music Association & Foundation, a special acknowledgement during the ICE Medal of Honor celebration is being given to the Otis Redding Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for community through education and the empowerment of its youth. Also honored will be Dr. Uzee Brown, who retired earlier this year as professor and chair of the Morehouse College music department after 49 years of service to the institution. The past president of the National Association of Negro Musicians, his works have been performed internationally at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and beyond.
About The Black American Music Association:
The Black American Music Association is a non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association founded in 2017 by Michael Mauldin and Demmette Guidry. The organization is comprised of executives and creators from music, and other entertainment related industries along with corporate and community leaders. The BAM organization was created to preserve, protect, and promote the legacy and future of authentic Black American Music, its culture, community, and creatives. It champions the influence, positioning and understanding of the narrative by supporting young innovative talent, creators, and executives, while leading us into the future of this valuable indigenous art form.
About Co-Founder Michael Mauldlin:
Michael T. Mauldin has made an indelible mark on the music industry for nearly 5 decades. He has been instrumental in discovering, shaping and directing the careers of some of the most successful music artists and prolific performers ever to appear on stage. Mauldin first began his career as band roadie, stage manager, production manager and tour manager. For 30 years, he was an artist manager, producer of live shows & concerts – including the original Scream Tour and Scream Nation brand – then President of Columbia Records Black Music. Mauldin has always been a leader, helping to lift the Black Community & Culture. Currently Michael T Mauldin is CEO of Mauldin Brand Inc., Chairman of the Black American Music Association and Co-Founder of the Black American Music Foundation. He is also the co-founder of the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame. In 2018, Mauldin was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Living Legends Foundation. In 2021, Mauldin was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
GUEST SPEAKERS – BANDLEADER RAY CHEW (TV’S DANCING WITH THE STARS) AND CELEBRITY DJ D-NICE
The Honorable Newark, NJ, Mayor Ras Baraka, Central Ward Councilwoman LaMonica McIver and Councilwoman At Large, the Rev. Louise Rountree, cordially invite you to the street renaming dedication, honoring The Marvelous, Tony Award-winning, Grammy nominated R&B legend, Ms. Melba Moore.
The event is taking place on Friday, September 8th, 2023, 11 am ET, at the intersection of William and Mercer Streets in Newark, NJ – across the street from Ms. Moore’s alma mater, Arts High School. The street will be renamed Melba Moore Plaza.
Guest speakers include noted bandleader Ray Chew from ABC-TV’s “Dancing With The Stars” and celebrity DJ D-Nice.
This has been a banner year for The Marvelous Melba Moore. She appeared on The Tamron Hall Show, walked the runway for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women event, released a new single – a remake of the Ashford & Simpson R&B classic, “It Seems To Hang On”, as well as earning a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame on August 10th, 2023
WATCH MELBA’S INTERVIEW ON THE TAMRON HALL SHOW
MELBA WITH HER STAR ON HOLLYWOOD’S WALK OF FAME
Over the past 20+ years, EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL has been proud to play a major role in celebrating the culture of Hip-Hop. From honoring new music by Rap legends to launching top breakthrough artists, the EA SPORTS Madden NFL soundtracks have helped shape what Hip-Hop means, what it can accomplish, and where it’s headed next.
As the genre prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the soundtrack to Madden NFL 24 embodies Hip-Hop and Urban music’s strength, diversity, and celebration like never before.
Madden NFL 24 features 36 bangers that raise the bar, rock the field, and change the game. In addition to Platinum hitmakers that include Jack Harlow, Wiz Khalifa, Armani White ft. A$AP Ferg and Marshmello ft. Polo G & Southside, and two tracks by Ghanaian rapper Blackway, the soundtrack showcases hot newcomers like San Antonio rapper Mike Dimes ft. Joey Bada$$, Best New Artist nominee Toby Nwigwe, mixtape phenom Toosii, gritty street flavor from EST Gee, and stadium-shaking anthems by rapper/producer NF.
Madden NFL 24 also gives unprecedented power to female performers with tracks by BIA, GRAMMY®-nominee Chika, a track from Kimbra inspired by the game, and two never-before-released songs by Doechii. And in a return performance from last year’s game, Madden NFL 24 again features beats specially created for the game’s cinematics by 3-time GRAMMY® winning writer/producer/rapper Hit-Boy.
Check out the official playlist on Apple Music now prior to game launch on August 18th, with additional music coming in the NFL season.
A singer, MC, self-taught keyboardist, and prolific songwriter, Angie Stone’s first claim to fame was her membership in the Sequence, a pioneering hip-hop trio who arrived with “Funk You Up” (1979), the second release on Sugar Hill Records and the first rap single by an all-female group.
Following a brief period with the post-new jack swing R&B act Vertical Hold, Stone began a fruitful and lasting solo career as one of neo-soul’s leading lights, known for providing sharp insight into romantic relationships with her smoky yet upfront voice. She established her solo career with a pair of gold-certified albums, Black Diamond (1999) and Mahogany Soul (2001), and added to her accolades with Grammy nominations in the R&B field for “More Than a Woman” (2002), “U-Haul” (2004), and “Baby” (2007).
Increasingly occupied with acting roles, she has continued to record every few years, exemplified by deeply soul-rooted LPs such as Rich Girl (2012), Dream (2015), and Full Circle (2019).
Stone, a native of Columbia, South Carolina, began singing gospel music at a young age at First Nazareth Baptist Church. Her father, a member of a local gospel quartet, would take his only child to see performances by gospel artists such as the Singing Angels and the Gospel Keynotes. During her youth, she wrote poetry, played sports, and, after high-school graduation, was offered college basketball scholarships. While working dead-end jobs, Stone began saving money to record her own demos at a local studio called PAW.
She joined Gwendolyn Chisholm and Cheryl Cook in the rap trio the Sequence, who recorded hits for Joe and Sylvia Robinson’s Sugar Hill label. These included “Funk You Up,” a remake of Parliament’s hit “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker” called “Funky Sound (Tear the Roof Off),” and “I Don’t Need Your Love.” Soon after, Stone worked with futuristic rap group Mantronix and rocker Lenny Kravitz, and formed the sophisticated R&B trio Vertical Hold, who in 1993 hit the R&B Top 40 with “Seems You’re Much Too Busy.” The group split after its second album.
Stone subsequently signed to Arista as a solo artist and recorded 1999’s Black Diamond, a Top Ten R&B album that was certified gold on the strength of the singles “No More Rain (In This Cloud)” and “Everyday” (one of several songs she has written either for or with D’Angelo). The album won her a pair of Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. She shifted to J for 2001’s Mahogany Soul, another gold seller. That album’s “More Than a Woman,” a duet with Calvin Richardson, earned a Grammy nomination in the category of Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Stone Love, released in 2004, fared just as well commercially with “U-Haul,” another Grammy-nominated performance, among the highlights. Stone smoothly moved to the revitalized Stax label for her fourth studio album, 2007’s The Art of Love & War. It topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and featured two of her best singles, “Sometimes” and the Betty Wright collaboration “Baby” — the latter of which made Stone a three-time Grammy nominee.
Throughout the next several years, the singer’s studio output remained consistent in terms of chart performance, despite a series of label changes and frequent acting work.
(By the end of the 2000s, Stone had appeared in several movies, including The Fighting Temptations, Pastor Brown, and Scary Movie 5, as well as the television programs Moesha, Girlfriends, and Lincoln Heights.) Unexpected, released on Stax in 2009, hit the Top 20 of the R&B chart. Saguaro Road issued Rich Girl, Stone’s most stylistically diverse set, three years later, and it peaked slightly higher. For Dream, released in 2015, she joined the veteran-loaded Shanachie roster. The next year, the Goldenlane label issued Covered in Soul, for which Stone updated classics popularized by the Guess Who, the Five Stairsteps, and Carole King. Stone changed labels again for the 2019 set Full Circle, featuring the Jaheim duet “Gonna Have to Be You.”
Angie Stone recently released her anticipated 10th studio album under a new record label, a new look and a better point of view. “LOVE LANGUAGE.” “Love Language” has far exceeded my expectations. Considering the fact I was particularly excited about releasing a new album, I am so glad I decided to move forward. I feel this album encompasses classic Angie Stone, with songs like “Good Man” and “Gym”; while also expressing a new age feel with my first single “Kiss You”. Recording this album took me back to the creation of my sophomore album Mahogany Soul mainly because the music simply felt GOOD! I’m so thankful to my new label SRG and my team at Conjunction Entertainment. Special thanks to Walter Milsap, Candice Nelson and Balewa Muhammad. You guys have truly mastered my sound and we also work so effortlessly together. Special thanks to my incredibly talented brother, Musiq Soulchild, for gracing the album with true artistry! Last but certainly not least, thanks to my “sonshine” Swayvo Twain, on your first feature with your mom. You continue to solidify yourself as an amazing artist, while creating your own lane and for that I am so proud.,” mentions Angie.
The visuals to the fun and season-appropriate song, “LOVE THE FEELING.” were directed by Charles West. “This video was inspired by the infectious nature of two-step dancing and how we express love for one another through movement. Two-step dancing has made its way around the globe and is a sign of happiness and love. My hope is that you’ll be inspired to move and step during your home cookouts, house parties, and grown folks’ outings,” mentions Angie.
LOVE LANGUAGE was led by the singles, ‘KISS YOU“, followed by ”THE GYM” featuring Platinum R&B Superstar, MUSIQ SOULCHILD. and the beautiful “GOOD MAN”. The album is globally available now via the Conjunction Entertainment and SRG-GROUP label imprint.
1. Love Is Real
2. The Gym (featuring MUSIQ Soulchild)
3. Kiss You
4. Good Man
6. Love Language
7. All I Need
8. Love The Feeling
9. Old Thang Back (featuring Swayvo Twain)
10. Kiss You (X Mix)
11. Kiss You (Jersey Club Mix)
New York, NY (June 29, 2023) — Today, FPWA CEO Jennifer Jones Austin released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down affirmative action in college admissions. This comes as FPWA’s latest analysis of civil rights progress since the 1963 March on Washington shows persisting racial inequities in education and economic-related outcomes. Funding disparities between schools with majority Black students versus majority white students remain especially stark, and even with comparable or identical college degrees, Black people make an average 20% less each year.
“As an organization committed to dismantling systemic racism, FPWA denounces the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action in the college admissions process. Since Affirmative Action’s inception, opponents have ignored the reason for race to be a consideration—to responsively acknowledge racism and how it impacts people of color’s lives, and particularly their educational experiences and lifelong opportunities. They have attacked the policy for being anti-meritocratic and unfair to deserving students. Today’s Supreme Court’s decision embraces their false narrative and willfully disregards persisting structural racism and resulting intergenerational inequality and inequity.
FPWA will continue working to dismantle structural and institutional barriers that have persisted for over 400 years in America, and will fight to advance policies that promote racial and economic equity.”
FPWA is an anti-poverty policy and advocacy organization committed to advancing economic opportunity, justice, and upward mobility for New Yorkers with low incomes. Since 1922, FPWA has driven groundbreaking policy reforms to better serve those in need. We work to dismantle the systemic barriers that impede economic security and well-being, and strengthen the capacity of human services agencies and faith organizations so New Yorkers with lower incomes can thrive and live with dignity.
Calls for Judicial Reforms to Supreme Court as Bench Deals Yet Another Blow to Civil Rights
New York, New York – (Thursday, June 29, 2023) – Rev. Al Sharpton, President and Founder of the National Action Network (NAN), condemned the Supreme Court’s decision today to overturn affirmative action in higher education. The 6-3 and 6-2 decisions in two related cases will end decades of safeguards for equal access to education, especially for Black and Brown students. Although many expected the Supreme Court to end affirmative action, the decision underscores a deep need to reform the court – especially as several justices face ethics concerns amid a rash of actions that have unraveled generations of civil rights.
“The Supreme Court just stuck a dagger in the back of Black America. Affirmative action was a commonly embraced policy because it served as a check on an admission process that was rife with racism, nepotism, and favoritism for generations. The reality is race plays a factor in admissions, from pre-K to post-doctorate, and institutions just saw their best tool for fairness outlawed.
Let’s not forget this wasn’t a decision supported by higher education institutions. It was pushed by a small group committed to peeling away our civil rights, who want Black and Brown faces out of their ivory towers. It’s why you saw so many colleges and universities batten down the hatches and come up with contingency plans when it became clear affirmative action would end. The National Action Network’s Youth Huddle will continue to push for fair admission standards, so they have the same access to higher education as those before them. Today’s misguided decision has activated them to stand at the vanguard of the March on Washington on August 26th, which will not be a commemoration but a continuation in the fight for justice and equality.”
About National Action Network (NAN)
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender.
For more information go to www.nationalactionnetwork.net.
(now Music Will) children’s music education program in 2011, he knew he would continue his commitment to kids’ music education. Having donated a bass, given the children a bass lesson, and rapped with them while they played the blues, Collins cemented his commitment to the nonprofit’s mission. Now, more than a decade later, Collins is an honorary board member of Music Will.
Next month he’ll continue his work with Music Will for their annual Modern Band Summit that’s coming up on Wednesday, July 12th at CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado. Bootsy will deliver a keynote at the annual Modern Band Summit, a three-day professional development conference where music educators from all over the country come together to learn, teach, play music, and experience the modern band curriculum,
**About Music Will:
Music Will runs the largest nonprofit music program in the U.S. public school system. Its teachers currently serve over 500,000 students in more than 600 cities and towns across the country. For two decades now, their programs have taught students such popular American genres as rock, pop, R&B, Latin, rap and country—alongside styles already taught in schools, such as classical and jazz. Today, a national network of K-12 districts has adopted the Music Will program as their own. Additionally, more than 70 colleges and universities now use their approach to music education majors. Several state departments of education have partnered with Music Will to grow music education in the schools they serve. Its mission of transforming lives by transforming music education has grown into a movement.
“Whatever she does…she does in the spirit of love.” – Martin Luther King III
“She sees people for who they are – and what they are capable of achieving.” – Emmitt Smith
“She put a spotlight on a lot of people – to be seen by a lot of people.” – Pamela Poitier
“If I’m able to takeoff it’s because people like Xernona Clayton paved the runway so smooth.”
– Senator Raphael Warnock
ATLANTA – Bounce TV, the popular broadcast and multi-platform entertainment network serving African Americans, will recognize Juneteenth with the premiere of an exclusive new documentary, “Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White” on Monday, June 19, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. Celebrating the life of one of the most unheralded civil rights icons and African American pioneers of our time, the documentary tells the amazing story of Xernona Clayton, an extraordinary woman who has impacted our country so respectfully and quietly that many aren’t aware of her enormous contributions.
From her modest beginnings in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Clayton has made it her life’s work to promote racial understanding. Told from her perspective, as well as through the eyes of family and friends, “Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White” will spotlight the person who over her incredible career became the first Black woman in the South to have her own TV show, helped write the blueprint to desegregate hospitals in the South and even convinced a KKK Grand Dragon to renounce his position as well as the organization.
“Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White” will be an elegant march through Clayton’s nearly century-long life, from her years working as an aide and close friend to Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King, through her pioneering broadcasting career with Ted Turner, which led to the creation of the Trumpet Awards. Designed by Clayton to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of African Americans and those who have succeeded against great odds and inspired success in others, the Trumpet Awards recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.
“Xernona Clayton: A Life in Black and White” includes insights from Ambassador Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III, Pamela Poitier, and broadcasting legends Tom Johnson and Pat Mitchell. Senator Raphael Warnock, NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, actor and rapper Tip “T.I.” Harris and other influential personalities also discuss their experiences with Ms. Clayton. The film is produced and directed by Emmy and Peabody award-winning director and producer Nancy Saslow and her Mishpookah Entertainment Group and executive produced by David Hudson.
Following its Bounce premiere, the documentary will be available on Brown Sugar, Bounce’s subscription video-on-demand service, where viewers can catch up on all Bounce originals anytime exclusively. Brown Sugar is available on Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Comcast Xfinity X1, Cox Contour, VIZIO TVs, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV and Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. Visit www.BrownSugar.com for more information.
“Xernona Clayton, The Podcast” is an eight-part companion podcast series to the documentary with episodes being made available on all major podcasting platforms beginning on Juneteenth. Hosted by Michelle Miller of CBS News, it treats listeners to more details and behind-the-scenes stories from Ms. Clayton, who openly shares the pivotal chapters and personalities of her influential life with candor, humor and grace.
Watch the extended trailer here.
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A historic concert titled, “Mixtape Live” with 50 MCs from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s was announced and will take place on June 17, 2023, at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic, New Jersey, at 7:00pm.
The announcement of the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop Mixtape Live with One DJ, One Host, One Night, One Stage, One Set, and 50 Legendary performers is being curated by the Magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff, a Grammy Award winner; The Greatest Entertainer Doug E. Fresh, a hip-hop legend known as the Human Beatbox; and Charlie Mack, an insider in the entertainment industry and longtime promoter and manager.
June 17th 2023 Sat @ 7:00pm
Atlantic City NJ – JIM WHELAN BIARDWALK HALL