Friday, July 1, 2022

The Living Legends Foundation Celebrates 30th Anniversary and Annual Awards Gala in LA on Friday, October 7

Top Row: Left to Right: Ronald “Slim” Williams, Bryan “Birdman” Williams, Charlamagne Tha God; Middle Row: Left to Right: Sharon Heyward, Curtis Symonds, Geo Bivins; Bottom Row: Left to Right: Tuma Basa, Johnnie Walker, Hank Caldwell. (Collage Image: Courtesy of the Living Legends Foundation)

*The Living Legends Foundation (LLF), today announces its 30th-Anniversary celebration and the 2022 honorees for the Annual Living Legends Awards Gala. This year’s event will be held on Friday, October 7, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. at Taglyan Complex, 1201 N. Vine Street, Hollywood, CA.

The esteemed group of nine honorees include: Ronald “Slim” Williams and Bryan “Birdman” Williams, co-founders of Cash Money Records, who will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Charlamagne Tha God, entertainment personality, author, and co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show, The Breakfast Club with DJ Envy and Angela Yee will receive the Jerry Boulding Radio Executive Award; Curtis Symonds, CEO of HBCUGO.TV will be presented with the Media Icon Award; Geo Bivins, CEO of Port Perry Entertainment will receive the Music Executive Award; Johnnie Walker, founder and CEO of the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment, Inc. (NABFEME) will be presented with the Mike Bernardo Female Executive Award; Tuma Basa, Director of Black Music and Culture at YouTube will receive the Digital Executive Award; Sharon Heyward, founder and CEO of The Solutionist LLC and music industry legend (formerly of Perspective, Virgin, and Harmony Records) will be presented with the A.D. Washington Chairman’s Award; Hank Caldwell, founder and CEO of Expert Fixer and music industry legend (formerly of WEA, SOLAR, Epic, and Death Row Records) will receive The Founders Award.

The 30th Anniversary honorees reflect the brilliance and excellence of today’s global music leaders and follow the tradition of the organization’s past honorees, who are trendsetters, trailblazers, legends, and icons. The foundation’s core mission is to honor the best among us in today’s ever-changing multimedia industry in the areas of broadcasting, recorded music, media, publishing, radio, publicity, and marketing.

“It’s been nearly three years since we gathered for our annual gala,” says David C. Linton, Chairman of the Living Legends Foundation. “Fortunately, COVID did not stop the organization nor its mission to serve our community through some challenging times for so many. Unfortunately, over the past few years, we have lost many of our comrades, who were longtime champions of the music and entertainment industries. We are immensely blessed and grateful that we can honor and celebrate those who are still among us.”

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The Living Legends FoundationsLinton concludes: “We are also indebted to all the music labels, corporations, organizations, and individuals who have financially supported the foundation and its mission during COVID. We thank you for your generous donations. We are looking ahead to the next thirty years with a renewed spirit of gratitude, vision, and energy.”

Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Ray Harris, added, “The Living Legends Foundation is the oldest Black Music organization around today. It’s no small feat that we have been able to survive for the past thirty years and for many years, we were the only Black organization standing. As the founder of this organization, I am humbled and profoundly grateful to the current and past Chairmen, Board of Directors, Advisory Board Members, honorees, and all the people who volunteered and kept the vision of this organization alive, especially during the mean and lean times. I think we have done a few things right. We look forward to gathering with our music industry family and celebrating each other.”

During the three-year pandemic, the LLF continued its work and implemented new ideas. In addition, to meeting the financial needs of many of its constituents, board members of the organization created the Music Day Podcast/Vodcast, an informational and educational interview show featuring artists, industry insiders, and music executives, highlighting the business of Black music and its impact on music globally. The podcast is available on all digital platforms, and the vodcast is shown on the Living Legends Foundation YouTube channel. The foundation also continues to support the next generation of music creators and executives through the Scholarship Fund at historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) including Texas Southern University (Houston, TX) and Shaw University (Raleigh, NC).

The Living Legends Foundation will follow both California and Los Angeles mandates for COVID-19 protocols for the anniversary event, which we will be announcing in the coming months.

For additional information on the Living Legends Foundation, please visit the website at Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


Founded in 1991 and incorporated in 1992, the Living Legends Foundation, LLC is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization and has been funded primarily with corporate contributions and individual donations. The 30-year-old organization has expanded its mission to assist those who have served the music industry and who have a confirmable need. This assistance is provided in a manner that maintains the dignity of those who may receive financial help. Many former music industry employees worked during a time when 401Ks and retirement packages were not available—and even today, in this era of downsizing and mergers, the uncertainty of career stability within the industry has grown. Proceeds from the event will enable the LLF to continue to aid those in need.

Over the past 30 years, the foundation has also recognized and honored more than one hundred distinguished leaders in music, radio, retail, and media. Past honorees include, in alphabetical order: Brenda Andrews, Larkin Arnold, Clarence Avant, Lee Bailey, Big Boy, Jamie Foster Brown, Troy Carter, Ray Chew and Vivian Scott Chew, Hymen Childs, Keith Clinkscales, Sheila Coates, Sheila Eldridge, Kenny Gamble, Jack “The Rapper” Gibson, Tony Gray, Ethiopia Habtemariam, Jeffrey Harleston, Denise Brown, Esq., Stephen Hill, Leon Huff, Cathy Hughes, Don Jackson, Hal Jackson, Larry Jackson, Cynthia Johnson, Varnell Johnson, Quincy Jones, Larry Khan, Mathew Knowles, Morace Landy, Karen Lee, Vicki Mack Lataillade and Claude Lataillade, Miller London, Michael Mauldin, Rushion McDonald, Sidney Miller, Kendall Minter, Esq., Jon Platt, Gwendolyn Quinn, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Ruben Rodriguez, Aundrae Russell, Pat Shields, Eddie Sims and Belinda Wilson, Dedra Tate, Phil Thornton, Herb Trawick, Charles Warfield, Dr. Logan H. Westbrooks, Maurice White, Dyana Williams, Tyrone Williams, and numerous others.


The Living Legends Foundation’s Officers and Board Members include Chairman David Linton, founder and Chairman Emeritus Ray Harris, President Varnell Johnson, Vice-President Jacqueline Rhinehart, Recording Secretary Pat Shields, co-founder and Treasurer C.C. Evans, and General Counsel Kendall Minter, Esq. Board Members include Vinny Brown, Sheila Eldridge, Tony Gray, Shannon Henderson, Ken Johnson, co-founder Barbara Lewis, Miller London, Kathi Moore, Jon Platt, Gwendolyn Quinn, Azim Rashid, Vivian Scott Chew, Sam Weaver, Colleen Wilson, and Tony Winger.


The Living Legends Foundation’s Advisory Board includes a list of music and entertainment executives including Monica Alexander, Don Cody, George Daniels, Brad Davidson, Michael Dawson, Esq., Skip Dillard, Kevin Fleming, Mark Hill, Jay Johnson, James Leach, Kiona Lewis, Vicki Mack Lataillade, Gail Mitchell, Brittany O’Garro, Lionel Ridenour, Kevin Ross, Phil Thornton, Brian Wallace, Tyrone Williams, and Buzzy Willis.


The Living Legends Foundation’s Event Chairpersons for the 30th Anniversary Awards Dinner and Gala are TT Torrez, Vice President of Artist and Label Relations, Hot 97 Radio in New York, NY; and Wayne Barrow, CEO of Brooklyn’s Finest and CEO of Barrow Films and Co-Owner of ByStorm Entertainment. The LLF Officer Patricia Shields will serve as the Dinner Committee Chairperson, along with the LLF Committee members Shannon Henderson, Mark Hill, James Leach, Kiona Lewis, Miller London, Kathi Moore, Brittany O’Garro, Azim Rashid, Jacqueline Rhinehart, Vivian Scott Chew, Sam Weaver, and Colleen Wilson.

Gwendolyn Quinn
Gwendolyn Quinn is an award-winning media consultant with a career spanning over 25 years. She is the founder and creator of the African American Public Relations Collective (AAPRC) and the Global Communicator. Her weekly columns, “Inside Broadway,” “The Living Legends Series,” and “My Person of the Week” are published with She is also a contributor to, BE Pulse (via and the Huffington Post. Quinn is also a contributor to "Souls Revealed" and "Handle Your Entertainment Business." She is the curator of The Living Legends Foundation’s “The State of Black Music and Beyond” essay series published on the Huffington Post. Contact her at




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