National Museum Of African American Music To Honor Music Legends During Black Music Month
This year's honorees include Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson and the Fisk Jubilee Singer.
April 21, 2021 at 3:06 pm
The National Museum of African American Music located in Nashville, Tennessee is planning to honor multiple legends during African American Music Appreciation Month.
In a release shared with Blavity, the museum announced that it will be presenting musical icons Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson and the Fisk Jubilee Singer with the Rhapsody & Rhythm Award during the seventh annual Celebration of Legends Benefit Concert.
The event is scheduled to take place on June 17 and will kick off a weekend of events hosted by the museum in partnership with Amazon.
“One of Amazon’s core values is to think big. We know that we can only do that when we all work together to recognize, elevate and celebrate all voices," Courtney Ross, Amazon Nashville’s senior manager of external affairs, said. “The work the museum is doing is essential to helping our wider community expand the way it thinks, and it’s an honor to be a part of it all.”
For this year's event, organizers are planning for both in-person and virtual events for fans to enjoy and to celebrate the honorees that will take place during the month previously coined Black Music Month which was started in 1979, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture's website.
Former President Jimmy Carter declared the month of June as Black Music Month which is still celebrated throughout the country.
“NMAAM showcases Black music excellence every day, but this year’s Black Music Month will be a special one as we celebrate the museum’s opening with phenomenal music icons and Black music fans across the world,” NMAAM President and CEO Henry Beecher Hicks III said. “We can’t wait to open our doors and share in the joy of Juneteenth weekend with our supporters, fans and a few musical legends, as well.”
The museum, which opened its doors on Jan. 18, is the only of its kind to celebrate the music of Black Americans and their contributions. According to the release, the museum integrates "history and interactive technology to honor the musical heroes of African American music of the past and the present."
Jones, Richie and Robinson have all been lauded for their contributions to the music industry, receiving numerous awards and recognitions.
Jones, known for helping to kickstart the careers of notable musicians, has received an Emmy Award, seven Academy Award nominations and 28 Grammy Awards. Robinson and Richie both have careers that span over multiple decades, cementing them in American history.
Honoree The Fisk Jubilee Singers, which is comprised of vocal artists and students at Fisk University, travel and sing across the globe. The group was selected as a recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 2018 which was presented by former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.
The group has also received a Dove Award and recently won an award at the 2021 Grammys.
Other notable artists previously honored by the National Museum of African American Music include CeCe Winans, Dionne Warwick, Charlie Wilson, Donny Hathaway and George Clinton.
The museum will host additional events over the course of the weekend including a Juneteenth Block Party, Museum Dedication Ceremony and a State of Black Music Summit. Additional details of the weekend's event can be found on the museum's website.
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