Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame announce nominees for inaugural Class 2021

Black American Music Association (BAM) Founders Michael Mauldin and Demmette Guidry, and Georgia Entertainment Caucus (GEC) Founders State Representative Erica Thomas and Catherine Brewton, announced the inaugural class of nominees for the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame (BMEWOF) at a private reception at The Gathering Spot ATL hosted by V-103’s Kenny Burns.  

Special guests included GRAMMY® Award-winning Rapper and Actor, Ludacris, GRAMMY® Award-winning Producer and Songwriter, Dallas Austin, Stellar Award winner Isaac Carree, Actor and TV personality, Miss Lawrence, and Head of Artist & Talent Relations for Spotify, Chaka Zulu.  

The evening included a soul-stirring tribute Medley by R&B artist Jac Ross in honor of foundational inductees James BrownOtis Redding and Quincy Jones, and a surprise performance by multiple GRAMMY® Award winner CeeLo Green of “Jesus Is Love.”  He also shared a new poem, inspired by the event entitled, “To Know the Difference Between Being Black and Dark.” 

Also in attendance were representatives from the Georgia House of Representatives Representative Debra BazemoreRepresentative Calvin SmyreRepresentative Miriam ParisRepresentative William BoddieRepresentative Derick JacksonRepresentative CaMia HopsonRepresentative Park Cannon, Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown, School Board Member Syntel BrownCongressman Kwanza Hall, ID8 Multimedia Derek Dudley, Vice President of Events and Game Experience at Mercedes Benz Stadium Tameka Rish, Parker Poe Partners Ellen Smith and Jeff Cunningham, LEED AP and Vice President of Holder Construction Greer Gallagher,  and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment, City of Atlanta, Phillana Williams,  GRAMMY® nominated Artist and Producer Sean Garrett,  International Ventures’ Efe Ogbeni,  One Music Fest Founder Jay Carter, as well as renowned artist, D.L. Warfield, who together with sculptor and historian Ed Dwight, created the “Crown Jewel of Excellence” emblem that will be embedded on the BMEWOF representing each inductee.

The first of its kind, the BMEWOF honors some of the most influential Black artists and entertainers in American history.  The first-class of inductees, selected from the nominees below, will officially be inducted during Black Music Month, June 2021, at a formal ceremony in Atlanta, Ga. 

With both a national and international appeal, the BMEWOF will be permanently installed in the historic downtown Atlanta area on the sidewalks of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Northside Drive. 

The following is a list of the nominees and presenters:

Presenter:  Isaac Carree

Mainstream Male

Charlie Wilson: Years active: 1972 – present (2017|RCA)

Pharrell: Years active: 1994 – present (2020|Columbia)

Usher: Years active: 1993 – present (2020|RCA)

Maxwell: Years active: 1990 – present (2018|Columbia)

Babyface: Years active: 1974 – present (2015|Def Jam)

Mainstream Female

Beyoncé: Years active: 1997 – present (2020|Parkwood)

Janet Jackson: Years active: 1973 – present (2018|Rhythm Nation/Cinq Music Group, LLC)

Mariah Carey: Years active: 1989 – present (2020|Columbia)

Mary J Blige: Years active: 1991 – present (2020|Def Jam)

Anita Baker: Years active: 1979 – present (2012|Blue Note)

Presenter:  Miss Lawrence


The Clark Sisters: Years active: 1966 – present (2020|Motown Gospel)

Kirk Franklin: Years active: 1992 – present (2019|RCA Inspiration)

BeBe & CeCe Winans: Years active: 1982 – present (2009|Malaco)

Shirley Caesar: Years active: 1951 – present (2016|Light,eOne)

Donald Lawrence (2019|Provident Label Group/Sony)

Presenter:  Dallas Austin

Male Hip Hop

Nas: Years active: 1991 – present (2020|Mass Appeal)

Outkast: Years active: 1992 – present (2006|LaFace)

Run DMC: Years active: 1983 – present (2001|Arista)

LL Cool J: Years active: 1984 – present (2016|G.O.A.T. Records)

Public Enemy: Years active: 1985 – present (2020|Def Jam)

Female Hip Hop

Ms. Lauryn Hill: Years active: 1993 – present (2019|Sony Music Entertainment)

Missy Elliott: Years active: 1991 – present (2020|Atlantic)

MC Lyte: Years active: 1987 – present (2018|My Block Inc)

Lil Kim: Years active: 1994 – present (2019|Queen Bee Entertainment/Entertainment One)

Da Brat: Years active: 1992 – present  (2020|Ishotcha Music/JABS Ent.)

Presenter:  Ludacris

Music & Entertainment Mogul

Sean Combs: Years active: 1990 – present

Dr. Dre: Years active: 1985 – present

Queen Latifah: Years active: 1989 – present

Will Smith: Years active: 1986 – present

Jay-Z: Years active: 1988 – present

Legacy Artists (1922 – 1979)

Lionel Richie: Years active: 1968 – present (2019|Capitol Records)

Diana Ross: Years active: 1956 – present (2006|Manhattan Records)

Michael Jackson: Years active: 1964-2009 (In Memoriam)

Stevie Wonder: Years active: 1961 – present (2020|UMG)

Chaka Khan: Years active: 1970 – present (2019|Island)

Foundational Inductees

Quincy Jones – Presenter:  Chaka Zulu

James Brown (In Memoriam)  Presenter:   Catherine Brewton

Otis Redding –  (In Memoriam) Presenter:   Michael Mauldin

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