“The platforms are designed for those who want to contribute something.” Charlamagne Tha God Co-host for WWPR (Power New York’s syndicated TV show The Breakfast Club) commented on this during receiving the Living Legends Foundation’s Jerry Boulding radio executive award. He is the co-host of WWPR (Power New York’s syndicated talk show The Breakfast Club, multimedia entrepreneur and best-selling author was the first of eight honorees saluted at the foundation’s anniversary gala, held Friday evening (Oct. in the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.
The ceremony was attended by Charlamagne, who implored the audience to “ask yourself each day who have you helped or empowered people to be the best versions of them.” This theme was reiterated throughout the night, as Cash Money Records cofounders/CEOs Bryan “Birdman”, Williams and Ronald “Slim,” Williams getting his Lifetime Achievement Award. Before the presentation, producer Polow da Don paid homage to the brothers “They represent and give voice for those who are working in the trenches.
Jean Riggins and my mentors have been the ones I’d like to honor as they helped me to get the point I am at. Without their guidance, I would not be my current level of success. Sharon Heyward is an inspiration for all and I’m grateful for her being my role model.
It was the Solutionist LLC owner and operator Sharon Heyward was presented with the Legacy Award by longtime industry coworkers and acquaintances David C. Linton and Ray Harris, LLF’s president and chairman emeritus. When she was presented with the final honor of the evening Heyward declared “I am a straight-no-chaser girl” and was visibly moved. “One of the greatest relics of my career are the mentees and others telling them how I’ve helped during their career.” Also, she took those who criticize her on the spot for their dismissal of those who are older in the business in the belief that “age is just a number.
“That is a sign of a lack of respect for the past that’s been handed to you,” she said. “We need to have respect for one another, in order to be able to touch back and bring forward.” Joined onstage by her daughter Monique as well as her work in the music industry, Heyward gave snippets of Impressions’ hits “Keep on Pushing” and “I’m so proud” and concluded “The music business isn’t a woman’s game for. I wouldn’t want to see my daughter Monique involved in this event, however, I’m extremely proud of her…and to the crowd thank that you let me be a role model to certain of you.
The Digital Executive Award goes to Tuma Basa director of Black culture and music on YouTube. In addition, the Mike Bernardo Female Executive Award goes to Johnnie Walker, first female senior vice president of promotion of promotion Def Jam Recordings and now president and founder of the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment Inc. (NABFEME). Henry “Hank” Caldwell is the Founders Award winner. He’s an experienced industry professional who was also founder/president & chief executive for HBCUGO TV, which is a streaming television service that broadcasts live.
There is no doubt that female musicians face many challenges when it comes to achieving the same standing with male counterparts in music. The future generation of female performers will succeed if they have strong role models and mentors. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this conversation and I am hoping that we can continue to work together to achieve equality in the music industry.