The inaugural induction ceremony for The Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame went down on Thursday June 17 in Atlanta, and Audacy and V-103’s very own Greg Street was there to get an inside look and talk to the crowds.
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As stated in official event press release, The Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame is a “first-of-its-kind tribute to the trailblazing artists, iconic entertainers, and legendary luminaries who have impacted both Black culture and the community at large.”
As a joint initiative between the Black American Music Association and the Georgia Entertainment Caucus (GEC), the BMEWOF was created to “acknowledge, preserve, respect, and inspire the Black creative community for generations to come.”
As any ceremony of recognition the first ever inaugural class of inductees were classified into categories; Foundational Inductees, Legacy Artists, Mainstream Mogul, Gospel Female, Gospel Male, Hip Hop Female, Hip Hop Male, Mainstream Female and Mainstream Male.
During the lead up to actual event Street had the chance to chat with Black American Music Association founders, Michael Mauldin who might have been slightly distracted, but extremely excited about what was to come later that day. “This is an exciting day Atlanta, we doin’ this thing down here. It’s been something that we’ve been working on… a couple of years.” Maudlin said pointing to the various medallions placed all around the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Georgia.
On each medallion is etched with a BMEWOF Foundational Inductees name on it, including James Brown, Otis Redding, Quincy D. Jones, and Stevie Wonder. As well as Michael Jackson (Legacy Artists), Sean Love Combs (Mainstream Mogul), Shirley Caesar (Gospel Female), Kirk Franklin (Gospel Male), Missy Elliott (Hip Hop Female), Outkast (Hip Hop Male), Beyoncé (Mainstream Female), and Usher Raymond IV (Mainstream Male).
Accompanying Maudlin in the announcement of names were GEC founders State Representative Erica Thomas and Catherine Brewton.
“As one of the founding members of The Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame and Co-Chair of The Georgia Entertainment Caucus, I am extremely proud to reveal our inaugural class of inductees,” Brewton stated. “Our first round of inductees includes many of my colleagues, and I am excited to celebrate their vast contributions to the preservation of Black Music and Entertainment.” Continuing, “The BMEWOF crown jewel of excellence emblems— designed by renowned artist D.L. Warfield and created in collaboration with sculptor and historian Ed Dwight—will be housed in front of the Mercedes Benz Dome, one of Atlanta’s most historic landmarks.”
Street also had the chance to speak with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who expressed how “honored” she was “to be a part of it.” As well as Councilmen Antonio Brown and Andre Dickens, who expressed his definition of the days events as “Black excellence.”
Greg also had a chance to talk to and congratulate some of the honorees, including Big Boi, one half of the duo OutKast, and Kirk Franklin. In addition, some of the hottest music producers and executives stopped by as well - Dallas Austin, Chaka Zulu.