The Black Music Action Coalition will honor Keke Palmer, Jermaine Dupri and the late Clarence Avant at its 2023 gala.
The fete, presented by Live Nation, is a yearly celebration honoring those in Black music who have exemplified positivity and helped promote equity in the community. The coalition was started in 2020 to help fight systemic racism in the music business on behalf of Black artists, producers, lawyers and many Black professionals in the music industry.
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Avant, known as “The Godfather of Black Music,” will be honored with a special tribute from the coalition. The legendary music executive was also a member of the BMAC board along with Quincy Jones and Irving Azoff, among others.
“BMAC will always be honored to have had him on our Advisory Board,” coalition co-founder Shawn Holiday said in a statement. “His life, and contributions to the industry, are unparalleled, his legacy will live on forever.”
The famed music executive who discovered “Ain’t No Sunshine” singer Bill Withers in the ’70s and also worked with artists such as L.A Reid, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Jones, died earlier this month at age 92 at his home in Los Angeles.
Dupri will receive the Clarence Avant Trailblazer Award, named after the music giant, with past honorees including Motown Records CEO Ethiopia Habtemariam and Sony Music CEO Jon “Big Jon” Platt.
“As we come together at this year’s BMAC Gala, we celebrate the passion, artistry and activism that burns bright in the hearts of our honorees,” BMAC co-founder/chair Willie “Prophet” Stiggers said in a statement. “They all have fearlessly embraced the power of music and entertainment to drive change and transcend boundaries.”
Some of this year’s honorees also include Nope actress Keke Palmer, who will be honored with the BMAC Social Impact Award; rapper Trae The Truth, who will be presented with the BMAC Change Agent Award; and Rolling Loud co-founders Tariq Cherif and Matt Zingler, will receive the BMAC 365 Award. Past BMAC honorees include H.E.R., Lil’ Baby, The Weeknd, Rep. Maxine Waters and the Recording Academy.
“The BMAC Gala has come to be regarded as a night where our music industry family isn’t celebrating the standard accolades: the number of streams on a hit song, or how many tickets have sold on a world tour, or who has the most No. 1s,” BMAC co-founder Caron Veazey said in a statement. “The BMAC Gala has become synonymous with the importance of centering awareness on equality and equity. It’s an evening where we come together to shine a light on the incredible contributions of the honorees and to celebrate the impact they’ve made on the journey towards social justice.”
The gala is set to take place Sept. 21 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
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