The Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) is an organization formed to advocate on behalf of black artists, producers, managers, activists, and companies against systemic racism within the music industry. They stride for representation and equity. On August 4th, 2022, BMAC announced the honorees for its second annual Music in Action Awards Gala on Thursday, September 22, at the Beverly Hilton.
The 2022 Music in Action Awards Gala will be co-hosted by singer and actress Coco Jones and entertainment/lifestyle/culture figure, Kenny Burns. The event will acknowledge and honor several individuals and organizations who have created positive change and helped improve equity within the community. This year’s honorees include the following:
- Lil Baby, GRAMMY Award-winning artist, will be honored with the coveted Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award
- David Ali, music manager, will receive the inaugural BMAC BLACK: Future. Now. Award.
- Shirley Halper, Variety’s Executive Editor of Music, and Gail Mitchell, Billboard’s Executive Director of R&B/Hip-Hop, will each be honored with the BMAC 365 Award.
- Jon “Big Jon” Platt, Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Publishing, with the Clarence Avant Trailblazer Award
- Kevin Liles, Chairman and CEO of 300 Elektra Entertainment, along with Amazon Music and the Recording Academy, will be honored with the BMAC Social Impact Award
- Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, attorney and author Brittany K. Barnett, and Cultural Creators Joi Brown will receive the BMAC Change Agent Award
- Rep. Maxine Waters will receive the inaugural BMAC Icon Award.
All of the recipients are extremely grateful to be recognized and expressed immense appreciation in their given statements. "In the 35 years I have spent in our industry, I have tried to make every decision and every movement intentional with the overarching goal of social justice and equality,” said Kevin Liles, Chairman and CEO, 300 Elektra Entertainment. “It is my mission to bring about change so that boardrooms reflect the music that is being released. I am honored and humbled to receive BMAC's Social Impact Award and am excited to continue the conversation and bring about necessary change in our industry."
In addition to honoring the award recipients, the event will celebrate the organization’s accomplishments and highlight upcoming initiatives. Over the last year, BMAC has been instrumental in addressing systemic racism within the music business and advocating on behalf of Black industry professionals.
Lil Baby (Dominique Jones) will be honored with the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award for his contribution to racial and social justice inside and outside of the music industry. The GRAMMY Award-winning rapper has made numerous hit records, made history, and impacted the course of modern hip-hop with his instantly identifiable and inimitable style. Well known for using his platform to give back to his community, Lil Baby recently hosted his third annual “Back to School Fest” at Atlanta’s West End Mall. In partnership with Goodr, the event provided over 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. Previous recipients of this award include The Weeknd and H.E.R. who both received the award at the inaugural Music in Action Awards Gala in 2021.
The Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) endeavors to uphold and actualize the mission of Black Lives Matter in the music industry and reach racial justice not just across labels, publishers, agencies, distributors, and DSP's but throughout society at large. BMAC works together with leaders from various business leaders to hold their companies accountable and implement a system of checks and balances to ensure change takes root. The group fosters various educational, mental health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, policing, social justice, and political causes that directly impact Black communities. BMAC has over 100 different partners and a large following of supporters. The non-profit organization has begun soliciting contributions to fund basic operations and other expenses. To date, the founding Board Members have covered any costs out of pocket.
In 2021, the organization launched the inaugural Music Industry Action Report Card, which is a measure of accountability and a call to action to the music industry for Black executives, artists, vendors, and stakeholders to have a voice, visibility, participation, and ownership on par with the revenue generated from Black music and culture.
The Black Music Action Coalition Board includes Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, Caron Veazey, Ashaunna Ayars, Naima Cochrane, Jamil Davis, Shawn Holiday, Damien Smith, and Courtney Stewart. The BMAC Advisory Board includes Clarence Avant, Irving Azoff, and Quincy Jones. For more information regarding Black Music Action Coalition and the Music In Action Awards Gala, please visit bmacoalition.org.