The headlines and soundbites, while deserving of the celebratory accomplishment, doesn’t reveal the whole story. Yes, we have giants, building blocks even, of hip hop culture feted, but of deeper significance is the recognition of the contributions of African American artists in various aspects of the industry and musical genres. Listed below are the categories, criteria and artist entering into the hallowed halls of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Performers: Honoring bands and solo artists who, in their careers, have created music whose originality, impact and influence has changed the course of rock & roll.
Ahmet Ertegun Award: Given to nonperforming industry professionals who, through their dedicated belief and support of artists and their music have had a major influence on the creative development and growth of rock & roll and music that has impacted youth culture.
Musical Excellence Award: Given to artists, musicians, songwriters and producers whose originality and influence creating music have had a dramatic impact on music.
LL Cool J
Early Influence Award: given to a performing artist or group whose music and performance style have directly influenced and helped inspire and evolve rock & roll and music that has impacted youth culture.
“This diverse class of talented inductees reflects the Rock Hall’s ongoing commitment to honor artists whose music created the sound of youth culture,” said John Sykes, chairperson of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “It will make for an unforgettable live celebration of music in October at this year’s Induction Ceremony in Cleveland.”
Yes, yes yall!! Hip hop is going to contribute mightily to the influx of us getting in, but by the looks of things we still are going to have work to do. At the risk of sounding like a contrarian, we must also examine the list of artists that fell short of induction in 2021. They include Fela Kuti, Chaka Khan, for the 6th time, and Mary J Blige. But perhaps the biggest insult, is that we have an artist that has on a resume: 6 Grammy Awards, including one for Lifetime Achievement, 56 solo singles in the Billboard Hot 100 and was so cold that in a group recording that featured 3 other Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight (collectively listed as Friends) she received top billing: Dionne and Friends, is a first time NOMINEE? Huh??? Should she have not been in YEARS ago? With time and patience, we may worry about our artist getting their just desserts as we’ll have an award of our own that will be held with the same esteem. For instance, in recognition and celebration of Black Music Month, Chicago-based television production company Central City Productions will present the 2021 Black Music Honors in commemoration of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated holiday honoring the end of slavery in the United States, which is officially celebrated on June 19th. Although it won’t be a live telecast, the evening of celebrations and special moments will be televised in national broadcast syndication starting June 5 to July 4, 2021 and on Saturday, June 19 at 1:00 p.m. EST on Bounce TV.
Emmy Award-winning talk show host, comedienne and author Loni Love will host the star-studded two-hour special which will honor artists and musicians who have influenced and made significant contributions to American music.
“Now, more than ever, I think it is important to recognize the contributions that Black music has made to the country and the world,” said Loni Love, the host of this year’s Black Music Honors. “I am beyond thrilled to host this exciting, inspiring and entertaining show. See y’all at the show wearing my shiny dresses!”
The honorees for this year’s Black Music Honors includes multiple Grammy Award-nominated R&B legend Angie Stone tapped to receive the Soul Music Icon Award, Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter and actor Ginuwine will receive the Urban Music Icon Award, multiple Stellar Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated gospel vocalist Marvin Sapp will receive the Gospel Music Icon Award, and Grammy Award-winning jazz virtuoso, Ramsey Lewis will receive the Legends Award. The National Museum of African American Music will be honored with the Legacy Award.
This weekend we begin the quest to the destined Knicks/Net Playoff showdown guaranteeing the next NBA World Champion will be a train ride away. (Hope springs eternal!!!) Over and out. Holla next week, til then, enjoy the nightlife.