Some of the most influential Black entertainers and icons who have made an impact on Black music and culture will be inducted into the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame’s inaugural class later this year. Members of the 2021 group — who were selected from a list of 38 nominees — were recently announced and will be celebrated in June, which is also Black Music Month.
During the ceremony which will take place in Atlanta, James Brown, Otis Redding, Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder will be honored as this year’s Foundational Inductees. Alongside them, Michael Jackson will be inducted as the class’ Legacy Artist, and Diddy will be honored as Mainstream Mogul.
Additionally, Missy Elliott will enter the class as the inductee in the category of Hip Hop Female, Outkast in the Hip Hop Male category, Beyoncé as Mainstream Female musician and Usher as the Mainstream Male artist. The work of gospel inductees Shirley Caesar (Female) and Kirk Franklin (Male) will also be commemorated.
The Walk of Fame — a joint initiative by the Black American Music Association and the Georgia Entertainment Caucus — will be set up outside of the Mercedes Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. The induction ceremony is slated to take place on June 17.
“As one of the founding members of The Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame and Co-Chair of The Georgia Entertainment Caucus, I am extremely proud to reveal our inaugural class of inductees. Our first round of inductees includes many of my colleagues, and I am excited to celebrate their vast contributions to the preservation of Black Music and Entertainment,” said Black American Music Association Founder Catherine Brewton.
“It gives me so much honor and respect to help escort the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame into existence and Global awareness,” added cofounder Michael Mauldin. ”Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote the legacy & future of culture, community, entertainment and the Black American Music Art-form.”