Before making Black Music Month an official happening in 1979, musicologists and on-air radio personalities, Dyana Williams and Ed Wright, and producer extraordinaire Kenny Gamble, had to take their advocacy up Capitol Hill and lobby President Jimmy Cater to formally recognize the cultural and financial contributions of Black music in the world. And over the last 40 years, after this serious consideration, Black music has emerged the dominant musical genre in the world. To be more specific, the urban music called “Hip-Hop” is the most listened to music on earth.
In acknowledgement and celebration of those who have impacted the culture of Black music, the Power of Music with the support of New York City Council Member Andy King (12th Council District in the Bronx) and the New York Black, Latino & Asian Caucus hosted the Power & Music Awards to show a spotlight on legends in this industry.
The Honorees are as follows:
- Rakim received the Musical Authenticity Award
- April Walker received Fashion Icon Award
- Big Daddy Kane received the Entertainment Lifestyle Award
- Slick Rick received the Genesis Award
- June Ambrose received Universal Style Award
- Larry Blackmon from Cameo received the Music Trailblazer Award
- Hezekiah Walker received the Power of Inspiration Award
- Laurieann Gibson received the Power of Movement Award
- Rick James posthumously received the Maverick Award
- The Breakfast Club (DJ Envy, Charlamagne Tha God and Angela Yee) received the Voice of Influence Award
- L. Londell McMillan, Chairman of The NorthStar Group & owner of The Source, received Entertainment Ambassador Award
Special Mention was given to Val Young and The Mary Jane Girls.
The dj for the night was the incomparable Chuck Chill-Out.
The Power & Music Awards was founded in 2018 by Media Leacock, Norman ‘Storm’ Bell, Mark Spark Welch and Shana Melius.