*The Black Business Association (BBA) recently hosted their Salute To Black Music Awards dinner in recognition of African-American/Black Music Month.
The star filled night was held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles where industry pioneers Clarence Avant and Lee Bailey were honored.
The grand ballroom was filled with celebrity guests Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, Elgin Charles, Janet Dubois, Ron Hasson (Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP President), Jon Platt (CEO/Chairman Warner Chappell Music), Mark Ridley-Thomas (Chairman of the Board Supervisors Second District), BET CEO Debra Lee, Music Execs. Jesus Garber & Jerry Moss, as well as reps from Ruthless Records, AEG, AT&T, and Warner Music Group to name a few.
Clarence Avant is an entrepreneur, film producer, and one of the first to successfully merge an African-American artist with a major record company back in the 1960’s. Because of his mentorship, he has helped greats like Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Bill Withers, Jimmy Lovine, Kenny Edmunds & L.A. Reid, Alexander O’Neal, Cherelle, The S.O.S. Band, and Lalo Schifrin, who composed the infamous theme to Mission Impossible.
EURweb’s Lee Bailey broke barriers in U. S. radio syndication, as well as internationally via the Armed Forces Radio Network (as a segment on the LaRita Shelby show from 1990-1997). Mr. Lee Bailey & his team gave listeners the first inside scoop on music’s top entertainers. He even gave his audience their first listen to Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Lee Bailey continued his pioneering efforts by being one of the first to publish content on Black entertainers online when he launched The Electronic Urban Report in 1996. Currently EURweb.com has a global audience of over 2 million.
The BBA awards gala started with a warm welcome from Actress/Writer & EURweb correspondent LaCora Stephens. BBA Chairwoman Gwen Moore and President/CEO Earl “Skip” Cooper II also addressed the crowd. Meanwhile, an amazing tribute featured Grammy winner Bebe Winans, young songstress Zipporah Robinson, and inspired words from Danny Bakewell, Motown President & Dinner Chairwoman Ethiopia Habtemariam and the legendary Quincy Jones. LA City Council President Herb Wesson, Jr., and Lionel Richie gave their tributes virtually, as did Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who offered her sincere congratulations from her Washington, D. C.
Clarence Avant paid homage to his chief supporters, his wife Jacqueline, his son Alexander Devore Avant, daughter Ambassador Nicole Avant-Sarandos and son in law Ted Sarandos (Chief Content Officer at Netflix), as well as his many colleagues over the years. Lee Bailey asked his former wife and COO of Bailey Broadcasting Diane Blackmon to join him on stage, as well as LaRita Shelby, who has grown with the company throughout many phases.
Other Bailey Broadcasting/Rabercom Enterprises associates and alums in attendance included Candida Mobley-Philips, Greg Johnson, DeBorah B. Pryor, Jay Styles, Reggie Simon and Mohammed Mubarak. Here’s to Clarence Avant, Lee Bailey and all the people who supported their vision, and here’s to the great talent that they have cultivated that will keep the black entertainment world alive for many years to come! EURweb also thanks long time friends/associates Steven Ivory, Audrey Bernard, Brittany Walker, Cherie Saunders, David Ledesma Camacho, Fahnia Thomas, Ny Magee, Cory Haywood, Larry Buford and Chris Richburg among others.