Charlie Wilson, Nile Rodgers, Yolanda Adams, Mona Scott–Young and Keb’ Mo’ will receive the Rhapsody & Rhythm Award from the National Museum of African American Music at the Museum’s fifth Celebration of Legends on the evening of Thursday, May 31, at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville. The Gala celebrates African-American musical and cultural trailblazers who have made significant contributions to American music across all genres.
“Charlie Wilson, Nile Rogers, Yolanda Adams, Mona Scott–Young and Keb’ Mo’ represent the talented, accomplished and decorated musical pioneers that the National Museum of African American Music seeks to elevate,” said NMAAM President and CEO H. Beecher Hicks III. “Their storied careers have a prominent place in history, and we’re proud to honor them with this award.”
As the leader of The Gap Band in his early career, Charlie Wilson and his brothers popularized upbeat funk music and recorded hits including “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” “Party Train” and “Burn Rubber on Me.” As a solo artist, Wilson has been nominated for 11 Grammys and 10 NAACP Image Awards, winning twice. He received the 2013 BET Lifetime Achievement Award, is the 2009 Billboard No. 1 Adult R&B Artist, and has eight Adult R&B No. 1 hits, including “You Are” and “There Goes My Baby.” Wilson recently released a new solo album, “In It To Win It,” which includes the lead single “I’m Blessed” featuring T.I. and “Chills,” which is the current No. 1 single on the Urban Adult Contemporary chart.
Nile Rodgers was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2016, and the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Rodgers formed the band Chic in 1976 and has worked with David Bowie, Madonna and Daft Punk, among dozens of other artists, and won a Grammy in 2014 as part of Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” album. Rodgers will also receive the Music Business Association’s Chairman’s Award for Sustained Creative Achievements in 2018.
Yolanda Adams has won four Grammy Awards, four Dove Awards, six NAACP Image Awards, three BET Awards, an American Music Award and a Soul Train Music Award. She is known as the Queen of Contemporary Gospel Music, the First Lady of Modern Gospel and the Reigning Queen of Urban Gospel. Adams was Billboard’s top Gospel Artist of the Decade ending in 2009.
Mona Scott–Young is the CEO of Monami Entertainment, best known for producing the VH1 television franchise “Love & Hip Hop.” She has been the marketing mind behind visionary performers in the industry for decades, including A Tribe Called Quest, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes. Under Scott–Young’s leadership, Monami has expanded into the realms of mobile apps and games, jewelry collections, and soft drinks.
Keb’ Mo’ is a four-time Grammy-winning artist and is a modern master of American roots music. Artists across the musical spectrum including B.B. King, Buddy Guy, the Dixie Chicks and the Zac Brown Band have recorded his songs. Keb’ Mo’ is a longtime supporter of the Playing for Change Foundation, a nonprofit that provides free music education to children in nine countries.
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