The National Museum of African American Music has chosen this year’s recipients of its Rhapsody & Rhythm Awards, and the selection is elite! On Wednesday, NMAAM announced it will honor Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson and the Fisk Jubilee Singers, per Billboard.
Aptly celebrating Black Music Month, the recipients will receive their honors at NMAAM’s seventh annual Celebration of Legends Benefit Concert on June 17, as part of the museum’s three-day celebration occurring June 17-19.
“NMAAM showcases Black music excellence every day, but this year’s Black Music Month will be a special one as we celebrate the museum’s opening with phenomenal music icons and Black music fans across the world,” NMAAM president/CEO Henry Beecher Hicks III said in a statement. “We can’t wait to open our doors and share in the joy of Juneteenth weekend with our supporters, fans and a few musical legends, as well.”
Along with the widely celebrated Quincy, Lionel and Smokey, it’s great to see the love shown to the legacy of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Founded by then-Fisk University treasurer George L. White, the Fisk Jubilee Singers made their performance debut in 1871 at Oberlin College and most of the members were formerly enslaved African Americans.
The group, which still continues to this day, actually won their first Grammy award this year in the Roots Gospel Album category.
More info about this year’s string NMAAM events for Black Music Month, via Billboard:
The weekend celebration continues on Friday (June 18) when NMAAM will present its first State of Black Music Summit. Artists, industry executives and culture creators will participate in various panel discussions being planned for the live-streamed, one-day gathering. Then on June 19—coinciding with this year’s Juneteenth (Emancipation Day) festivities across the country—NMAAM will close out the weekend with a museum dedication ceremony during the day, followed by a block party that evening.
For more info about NMAAM and its upcoming Black Music Month celebration, head to blackmusicmonth.com.