Black Music Honors: Musical Excellence All Day, Every Day


Hosts Rickey Smiley and LeToya Luckett, photographed by Stefan Walker

I really do enjoy seeing when we create things for us.” LeToya Luckett  

On Thursday, Sept. 5, Central City Productions held the annual Black Music Honors Awards at The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA. The Chicago based television company has kept the black excellence going now for four consecutive years and this year was nothing less than extraordinary.  

For the second year in a row, TV/Radio Personality Rickey Smiley and Grammy-winning artist Letoya Luckett shared the stage as hosts during the live taping. The chemistry between the two hosts was just as good as their first time uniting; Smiley’s comedic chops gave playoff room for Luckett’s own one-liner hits.   

This year’s honorees included Xscape (Urban Music Icon Award), Yolanda Adams (Gospel Music Icon Award), the hip-hop conscience group Arrested Development, Freddie Jackson and six-time Grammy-nominated artist, Tamia, were acknowledged for their musical contributions.   

Gospel Music Icon Award recipient, Yolanda Adams, photographed by Stefan Walker

The two-hour event included performances from Jagged Edge, Jekalyn Carr, Tevin Campbell, Kelly Price, Naughty By Nature, Le’Andria Johnson, Tony Terry, Travis Greene, 702, Smokie Norful, Jade Novah, Dee-1, June’s Diary, Mali Music, Mumu Fresh, Major, Keke Wyatt, Jessie Woo, Leon Timbo, Avery Wilson, Melanie Fiona, MAJOR and more.   

As media congregated to a private area to engage with this year’s talent, each artist showed humility, vulnerability, and honesty in their responses. Honoree Tamia revealed why she has never felt the need to be a “bigger” star in conjunction with her female contemporaries:  

“I do believe I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I feel super blessed to have the career that I have and continue to have and perform whenever I want to and being able to say ‘no’ whenever I want to. My goal has always been to do music and mind my own business [laughs].”  

Honoree, Tamia, photographed by Stefan Walker

With a star-studded roster of OGs, “Can We Talk” singer Tevin Campbell joined the hot seat while sharing the media stage with Freddie Jackson, Avery Wilson and Tony Terry. When asked about what he thought of today’s male R&B/Pop artists, Grammy Award winner Chris Brown wasn’t far off from the tongue:  

“He’s got a great voice and can do so much with it; I just wish he’d sing [pause] like a ‘song’.”  

(from l to r) Tony Terry, Tevin Campbell Freddie Jackson, and Avery Wilson, photographed by Stefan Walker

While the debate on singing and fairness is given to artists for their respective careers will always be subjective, good music is good music.    

The Black Music Honors will air, nationally, during Sept. 14-Oct. 20 at noon EST on Bounce TV. This year’s honors were sponsored by State Farm and AT&T. Need more information? Check out and on social media @blackmusichonors or #blackmusic honors on the Gram.   


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