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HOPE ZOOMS ETERNAL

City of Hope and RWQuarantunes raised north of $780k with their virtual gathering for the 16th Annual Songs of Hope on 9/30. Honorees included Smokey Robinson, Clive Davis, Brandi Carlile, Gracie Abrams and Blake Slatkin, highly decorated film/TV/game composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, writer/producer Daniel Nigro, the late, great Pop Smoke and physician Loretta Erhunmwunsee.

The Facebook-presented Zoom party was dotted with performances by the likes of Duran Duran, Jac Ross and Rob Thomas and featured such familiar faces as Jimmy Jam, Benny Blanco, Diane Warren, Carole Bayer Sager, Jennifer Holiday, Aloe Blacc, The-Dream and many more.

Sponsors included Davis, UMPG, Sony Music Publishing, Warner Chappell Music and EA Music. Also contributing mightily were premium sponsors ASCAP, Bruce Resnikoff, Barbara and Zach Horowitz, Jody and Gary Marsh, Hipgnosis, Mark and Ana Maria Gordon, and YouTube Music, among others.

Clive Davis presented Robinson with the Legend in Songwriting Award before the event co-chairs (including UMPG’s Evan Lamberg and The Davis Firm’s Doug Davis) bestowed upon Clive the inaugural Songs of Hope Heroes Award. An emotional Ryan Press of W/C, meanwhile, presented the Voice of Hope award posthumously to Pop Smoke. Youngsters Abrams and Slatkin got the Songwriter Impact Award (presented by Blanco); Nigro took the Sony Music Publishing Creative Trailblazer Award (courtesy of SMP’s Nick Bral and Jennifer Knoepfle); and Guðnadóttir was handed the EA Music Composer of the Year trophy by EA Music chief and event co-chair Steve Schnur.

Erhunmwunsee, assistant professor in the Division of Thoracic Surgery at City of Hope, received the Beverly and Ben Horowitz Legacy Award, named for the longtime CEO and first lady of City of Hope, for her work in addressing systemic inequalities in the health-care system via COH’s Division of Health Equities.

RWQuarantunes founders Richard and Demi Weitz proved amiable hosts along with emcee Jimmy Jam. Many, many people had to be yelled at to unmute themselves—but not us, because nobody wanted to hear a peep from us losers.

 Photos (Top row): Clive Davis and Evan Lamberg; Smokey Robinson; Demi and Richard Weitz; Jimmy Jam; (middle row): Ryan Press; Steve Schnur, Nick Bral and Jennifer Knoepfle; Carole Bayer Sager; Rob Thomas; Ja Ross; Blake Slatkin and Gracie Abrams; Daniel Nigro and Caroline Polachek; (bottom row) Jody Gerson, Benny Blanco, Hildur Guðnadóttir; Loretta Erhunmwunsee; Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon.

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