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LIVING LEGENDS: A REPORT

The honorees: Frank Ski, Sidney Miller, Dedra N. Tate, Karen Lee, Dyana Williams, Phil Thornton and Steve Hegwood

Hosted by syndicated “DeDe in the Morning” KKDA/K104 FM radio personality DeDe McGuire, the Living Legends Foundation’s 2019 Awards Show & Dinner recognized music industry trailblazers on 10/4 at the gala at the Tagylan Cultural Complex in Hollywood.

Event Chairman David C. Linton explained that the event supports the foundation’s work assisting entertainment industry trailblazers who have fallen on tough times. Linton also shared that the foundation awards scholarships to communications students at eight historically black colleges and universities. National Museum of African American Music President and CEO H. Beecher Hicks III showed a video of the 56,000 square foot facility slated to open in Nashville in 2020.

Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland presented the Gospel Music Executive Award to RCA Inspiration SVP/GM Phil Thornton (the two are pictured together at left). Thornton, also a television producer, dedicated his award to songwriter LaShawn Daniels, who was killed in an accident last month. Media Executive Award honoree Karen Lee, SVP, W&W Public Relations, shared that one of her keys to professionalism is understanding that executives don’t hang out with celebrities, they “work for and with them.” eOne VP of Promotions Maurice White, who was honored with the Music Label Executive Award and has worked with Earth, Wind & Fire, Isaac Hayes and Gloria Gaynor, among others, reciprocated the love, telling the crowd, “Everybody in this room is a living legend to somebody.”

Sheila Coates, former label marketing executive who worked with Janet Jackson, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Lenny Kravitz and founder of BYOB (Be Your Own Brand), received the Entrepreneur Award. She expressed that character transcends achievements, saying, “What you do will fade, but who you are is always there.” Hip-hop artist YoYo presented the Mike Bernardo Executive Award to Unlimited Contacts, Inc. CEO Dedra N. Tate, who shared a touching story about reaching out to people who need help.

Urban One head Cathy Hughes presented her best friend Dyana Williams with the Lifetime Achievement Award (the two are seen at right). Williams, who is a co-founder of Black Music Month, award-winning broadcast journalist and media coach who has worked the likes of Rihanna, T.I., Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes, referred to fellow entertainment executives in attendance as “global ambassadors” and stressed the need to use “our voice to make a difference.”

Frank Ski, co-host of The Morning Culture morning show on Atlanta’s V-103, received the Jerry Boulding Radio Executive Award along with Core Communications CEO/President Steve Hegwood. Ski, who created the Frank Ski Kids Foundation that has taken children from low-income families to Italy, the Amazon and Ecuador, encouraged his peers to “mentor this generation.”

Sidney Miller, who received the A.D. Washington Chairman’s Award, said he founded Black Radio Exclusive (BRE) magazine in 1976 after being approached to create a publication devoted to cover Black music. “We had the most popular music but didn’t have a publication to present us,” he said. When the deal fell through, he moved forward with the plan.

Special guest performer Tito Jackson performed two songs.

 

Phot credit: Koi Sojer / Snap'N U Photos

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