National Museum of African American Music Announces Legends Gala Honorees

National Museum of African American Music Announces Legends Gala Honorees

By MP&F Staff

The National Museum of African American Music will present Charlie Wilson, Nile Rodgers, Yolanda Adams, Mona Scott–Young and Keb’ Mo’ with the Rhapsody & Rhythm Award 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 Rodgers, 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. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame writes that Rodgers “rocked beyond the boundaries of disco with imitable guitar riffs fundamental to hip hop, rock, and EDM.” He formed the band Chic in 1976 and has worked with David Bowie, Madonna and Daft Punk, among dozens of other contemporary 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 music industry for decades, like 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.

Individual tickets for the Legends Gala are $250, and more information is available here. The Gala benefits NMAAM’s educational and community programs for all ages, including From Nothing to Something, MET Summer Academy, Fine Tuning Music Legends & Heroes, The Emerging Artist Series, Master Class, and Sips & Stanzas. The Gala will contribute to expanding the Museum’s reach and engagement to provide unique learning experiences for all ages. For information about sponsorship opportunities, email Lolita Toney at ltoney@nmaam.com.


The National Museum of African American Music, set to open in 2019, will be the only museum solely dedicated to educating, preserving and celebrating the influence African-Americans have had on music. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, the Museum will share the story of the American soundtrack by integrating history and interactive technology to bring musical heroes of the past into the present. For more information, please visit www.nmaam.org.

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