Members of Prince’s estate receive a plaque commemorating his induction into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame (photo by Craig Allen Brown/The Atlanta Voice).
On Saturday, the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame (BMEWOF) conducted its Black Music Month Class of 2022 induction ceremony, which celebrates the lives and work of over 20 groundbreaking musicians and businesspeople.
Over 3,000 people gathered at the Home Depot Backyard to witness the enshrinement of Cathy Hughes, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, Robert Smith, RUN DMC, T.D. Jakes, Charlie Wilson, Donny McClurkin, Tamela Mann, The Clark Sisters, NAS, Angela Bassett, Steve Harvey, Bob Marley, Patti LaBelle and Prince.
Among the honorees that attended in person were T.D. Jakes, Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons of Run-DMC and Cathy Hughes, the founder and chairperson of Urban One (formerly known as Radio One).
T.D. Jakes reacts to the unveiling of his plaque during the Black Walk of Fame induction ceremony (photo courtesy of Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame).
One of the more sentimental inductions seemed to be that of Prince, the legendary musician who passed away in 2016 at the age of 57. On hand to receive honors on behalf of Prince were Charles Spicer of the Prince Legacy, LLC; Londell McMillian, Prince’s advisor, manager and lawyer for over 13 years; Prince’s nephew Johnny Nelson Jr; and Prince’s niece, Brianna Nelson.
Spicer was particularly honored to witness Prince’s induction into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame, because he felt that Prince not only left a legacy of amazing music, but he championed the rights of musicians, especially when it came to proper compensation and the creative control and ownership of one’s music.
“We are completely honored that he is now being inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame, because Prince was very instrumental, not only in music,” Spicer said. “His fight for the rights of artists; he was very instrumental in that. Artists now have control of their masters based upon what Prince fought for.”
Each inductee had a circular plaque with his or her name on it embedded into the sidewalk, with a designation as either “King” or “Queen.”
After the reveal of Prince’s plaque, the crowd moved down to the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. and Northside Dr. to witness the unveiling of a sign that further designates Northside Dr. as the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame Highway.
Spicer stated that the day’s tribute was fitting for the artists that were being recognized.
“It’s amazing. We are really very honored,” he said.
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