It was a night of extraordinary performances and memorable presentations as Central City Productions paid tribute to six legendary artists during the second annual Black Music Honors, held recently at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville.
Through Black Music Honors, CCP recognizes legendary artists who have made significant musical contributions to African American culture and American music worldwide.
This year’s honorees included The Jacksons, Donnie McClurkin, Slick Rick, Guy, Oleta Adams and Jody Watley who were all recognized for their noteworthy contributions to the music industry.
During the two-hour live television special taping, hosted by radio and television personality Rickey Smiley and actress LeToya Luckett, The Jacksons received the Lifetime Achievement in Music Award, Stellar & Grammy® Award-winner Donnie McClurkin was presented with the Gospel Music Icon Award; the R&B group Guy, creators of the New Jack Swing sound, was given the R&B Soul Music Icon Award; Grammy® nominated-singer Oleta Adams was recognized with the Legends Award, Grammy® Award-winner Jody Watley received the Crossover Music Icon Award and Grammy® nominated rapper Slick Rick was presented with the Hip Hop/Rap Music Icon Award.
“Our second annual Black Music Honors taping exceeded our expectations,” said Don Jackson, founder of Central City Productions and executive producer of Black Music Honors. “The performance tributes were extended into multiple collaborations because of the overwhelming turnout of artists who came to celebrate our honorees. Plus the live performance by the Jacksons, to kick off their 50th anniversary tour, was the most spectacular performance of the night. Black Music Honors’ mission is to honor our music legends by paying tribute to them while they are still with us.”
The appreciative audience couldn’t get enough of the lively performances. During the jubilant celebration singers Leela James, Avery Sunshine and Latice Crawford serenaded Oleta Adams. The joint was jumpin’ when Da Brat, Kid N Play and Montell Jordan, who was accompanied by DJ Kaos on the turntables, rocked the stage in a tribute to Slick Rick, who, in a heartfelt acceptance speech, thanked the people who paved the way for his successful rap career. Donnie McClurkin was feted by fellow gospel sensations Jonathan Butler, Nicole C. Mullen, Stellar & Grammy Award –winners Bishop Marvin L. Winans (The Winans) and Karen Clark Sheard. R&B singers Sevyn Streeter and Vivian Green acknowledged Jody Watley by singing a medley of her songs from the 80s and 90s.
“I am just thankful, not just for the talent, but for the tenacity and the temerity to still do what I love despite all the obstacles,” said Watley. “And to inspire others to be you, to be yourself and to always believe in yourself.”
Singers Carl Thomas and Dave Hollister and the R&B group SWV, lifted their voices in tribute to Guy.
With a high-energy performance that kept the packed audience on its feet singing and dancing, the legendary group, The Jacksons, brought the house down by performing three of their hits. The group was also feted with a musical tribute by artists Silk, Next Town Down and Jon Jon.
“All we ever wanted to do was make music,” said Marlon Jackson, who revealed the group started out singing country music. “We are so grateful to our parents and without you [the fans] we wouldn’t be where we are today, and we’re thankful for that.”
Tito and Jackie Jackson also thanked the audience. All three brothers acknowledged the legacy of their iconic brother, The King of Pop Michael Jackson.
Also on hand to perform were Grammy-nominated singers Shanice and Tony Terry.
Gospel singer and television host Dr. Bobby Jones, H. Beecher Hicks III (National Museum of African American Music) and Black Music Honors Executive Producer Don Jackson served as presenters.
The not-to-be-missed, celebrity-packed, high-spirited show is set to air in broadcast syndication, Sept. 2-30, 2017 and on Bounce TV, on Tuesday, October 10, at 7 p.m. (ET). The broadcast syndication air-date list can be viewed here.
Black Music Honors is Executive Produced by Don Jackson and Produced by Michael A. Johnson and Jennifer J. Jackson of Central City Productions. Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the National Museum of African American Music, scheduled to open in Nashville, TN, in 2019.The titled sponsor for Black Music Honors is State Farm.