Lil Baby will be honored for his contribution to racial and social justice inside and outside of the music industry. Recently, the Grammy-winning rapper hosted his third annual “Back to School Fest” at Atlanta’s West End Mall. In partnership with Goodr, the event provided more than 3,000 local children with music, games, carnival rides, food, backpacks, school supplies, and haircuts. Additionally, Lil Baby worked with Atlanta restaurateur Lemont Bradley to offer 100 jobs to young adults, and established the $150,000 “My Turn” scholarship program for students at his former high school.
The event, sponsored by the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC), celebrates artists, executives, businesses, entrepreneurs, activists, and companies that have utilized their platforms to affect social change over the past year.
Music manager David Ali, whose clients include Kehlani, will receive the BMAC BLACK: Future. Now. Award.
Gail Mitchell, Billboard’s executive director, R&B/hip-hop, and Shirley Halperin, Variety’s executive editor of music, will each be honored with the BMAC 365 Award, an award given to a person, company or organization that has consistently supported social change throughout the year.
As previously announced, BMAC will honor Jon “Big Jon” Platt, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Publishing, with the Clarence Avant Trailblazer Award. Kevin Liles, CEO of 300 Entertainment, Amazon Music and The Recording Academy will each be honored with the BMAC Social Impact Award. Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, attorney and author Brittany K. Barnett, and Culture Creators’ Joi Brown will receive the BMAC Change Agent Award. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) will receive the inaugural BMAC Icon Award.
The 2022 Music in Action Awards Gala will be co-hosted by singer and Bel Air actress Coco Jones and entertainment/lifestyle figure Kenny Burns. R&B recording artists WanMor, the sons of Wanyá Morris of Boyz II Men, will do a special performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often dubbed the Black national anthem.
The festivities will kick off on Sunday, Sept. 18 with an inaugural BLACK: Future. Now. Brunch.
“The BMAC Music In Action Awards are the only awards of its kind in the music industry,” Caron Veazey, Black Music Action Coalition co-founder and co-chair, said in a statement. “It is a feel-great event where we come together not to celebrate our own individual accomplishments, but to celebrate what the honorees have given to, and done for, others. The road we have all been driving on toward racial and social justice has been long, it’s been uphill, and it definitely has not been easy. So to take an evening out to shine a light on those who have given of themselves to make a way for someone else, is a welcome rest stop on the freeway to equality.”
The 2022 BMAC Music in Action Awards Gala will celebrate the organization’s accomplishments over the last year and highlight upcoming initiatives. BMAC has been instrumental in addressing systemic racism within the music business and advocating on behalf of Black artists, songwriters, producers, managers, agents, executives, lawyers and other industry professionals.
Veazey is on the BMAC board of directors, along with Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, Ashaunna Ayars, Naima Cochrane, Jamil Davis, Shawn Holiday, Damien Smith, and Courtney Stewart.
The BMAC advisory board includes Jones, Avant and Irving Azoff.
For more information regarding the Black Music Action Coalition and the Music In Action Awards Gala, visit bmacoalition.org.