On Thursday morning, the inaugural Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame was held honouring a lengthy list of well-deserving artists.
“This is the only event like this in the world in black music,” Jermaine Dupri said. “I feel this will be the most important award ceremony in our business.”
Otis Redding, James Brown, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Shirley Caesar, Missy Elliott, OutKast, Beyoncé, Sean Combs, Kirk Franklin and Usher were celebrated during the event.
Redding’s son, Otis Redding III, was in attendance with his sister Karla Redding to accept the award on behalf of their late father.
Meanwhile, Brown’s daughter Deanna Brown Thomas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she hopes the younger generation will be inspired.
“I love being James Brown’s daughter on days like this,” she said. “It’s important for people to remember that in his day, he had to do the work. There was no Auto-Tune to make you sound better, no social media. You had to come in with raw talent. And he was doing it in the days of segregation… he left this world better than the world he was born into. He left us all messaging that will be here ‘til the end of time.”
Combs couldn’t be in attendance but his son, Christain (King), 23, went in his place.
“I know it sounds clichéd, but to never stop, can’t stop, won’t stop and go harder than anyone else, that’s what he’s taught me,” he said.
Because Combs’ “main goal is to shed light on Black excellence”, the Walk of Fame is considered one of his “biggest accomplishments.”