*This month, Ebony celebrated the best of Black excellence that is woven throughout our community! The past few years have been hard on everyone, but this year Ebony celebrated leaders in our community, with the Power 100 Gala at The Beverly Hilton.
Living legends Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award and spoke to EUR on the red carpet, about longevity in the industry and said “don’t wait for your big break, instead, continue to work towards it.”
When Jam and Lewis were being honored on stage, it was led by a tribute message from their longtime collaborator, Janet Jackson and the award was presented by Grammy-nominated singer, Major. The duo received a standing ovation and many cheers from the packed room.
“For me, Lifetime Achievement isn’t a place to stop, it’s a bar that’s high and we’re going to continue to try to raise that bar every day that we’re living,” said Jam during his thank you speech.
“I’m just going to do the happy dance and say, ‘mamma, I made it,’” Lewis added stomping on the stage. “My mom used to bang on the floor and she used to stomp her feet three times (yelling) ’turn that shit down’ because we were down there making noise, trying to learn to make music. Those are the shoulders we stand on tonight, the people who poured into us.”
EUR also spoke with 15 year old extraordinaire, Zaila Avant-Garde, who not only was a honoree, but this year’s National Spelling Bee Champion and viral basketball phenom. We asked what her dreams for the future are and she said, “she’d like to play in the WNBA and be an astronaut.”
Jemele Hill talked journalism and specifically about the Los Angeles Lakers. “They’re a new team. They are finding their (groove),” said Hill. Lakers fans, don’t get worried, the teams going to be just fine.
In addition to receiving the Vanguard Award, Wayne Brady emceed the power packed, star studded gala. He was lighthearted and hilarious as he took center stage and had the crowd laughing throughout the night. Then, when it was time for him to be presented his award, it was done by his adopted, Hollywood father, Ben Vereen who praised Brady for his “action, innovation, invention, and for keeping his head above the water.”
The take away…dream big. Strive far. You’ve got this! You are bold, brilliant and beautifully Black.