SILVER SPRING, MD – OCTOBER 27, 2020 – Urban One today announced that veteran television executive Michelle L. Rice has been named President of TV One and CLEO TV. Since February 2018, Rice has served as General Manager with full management oversight of TV One, the general entertainment network serving a diverse audience of adult Black viewers, and spearheaded the 2019 launch of CLEO TV, an aspirational cable network targeting Millennial and Gen X women of color.
“Michelle’s dynamic leadership has strengthened network partnerships, developed strategic alliances, and expanded distribution for both TV One and CLEO TV. All of which has uniquely positioned our networks to navigate the changing broadcast environment and catapult them to even greater success in the future,” said Alfred Liggins, President and CEO of Urban One.
“It has been a tremendous honor to work with such an exceptionally talented team and group of leaders who continue to transform and grow the business every day, even in the face of the most challenging circumstances presented to us this year. I’m incredibly excited about the future of both TV One and CLEO TV,” said Rice. “I am grateful for this recognition and the opportunity to continue building the TV One and CLEO TV brands. I appreciate the unwavering support and confidence in my leadership from Alfred Liggins and Urban One Founder and Chairperson, Cathy Hughes.”
Rice has successfully navigated and led the organization through a multitude of business and operational challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under her leadership, TV One has expanded its existing relationship with AT&T to include the upcoming launch of CLEO TV across DIRECT TV, AT&T TV, and AT&T NOW and with Philo TV, resulting in TV One’s first vMVPD distribution deal. Rice has brokered an exclusive partnership with the NAACP to develop and launch the ‘Hey Black America’ digital content campaign in response to a myriad of political and social issues that profoundly impact communities of color. TV One and CLEO TV have also developed REPRESENT THE VOTE: OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE, a three-part series of virtual town halls designed to tackle various social, economic, and political issues impacting Black women voters across the U.S.
Rice was one of the inaugural TV One employees, hired as the Vice President, Distribution Strategy, and Operations. She was promoted to Senior Vice President and held the role of Executive Vice President, Content Distribution and Marketing until she was promoted to General Manager.
Black Music Honors Dru Hill, Tevin Campbell, Mary Mary and The Whisphers
Celebrating Legendary Artists and Institutions Making a Significant Impact in African-American Music, Black Music Honors Returns to Atlanta With Co-Hosts Two-Time Grammy Winner LeToya Luckett and Comedian DeRay Davis
Central City Productions announces the 7th Annual Black Music Honors live tapping at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Ga. on Thursday, May 19. The star-studded two-hour event will honor artists and musicians who have influenced and made significant contributions to American music.
This year’s remarkable group of honorees include Multi-Platinum, Award-Winning Supergroup Dru Hill who will receive the Urban Music Icon Award; Five-Time GRAMMY Nominee Tevin Campbell who will be honored with the R&B Icon Award and Multi-Award-Winning Gospel Duo Mary Mary will be presented with the Gospel Icon Award. NAACP Image Award-Winning Singer Karyn White will also be recognized with the Soul Music Award; Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter Keri Hilson will be honored with the Music and Songwriter Icon Award for her accomplishments penning songs for some of the biggest names in music; and the Legendary R&B Group The Whispers will take home the Legends Award for their incredible nearly six decade music career.
“We are more than excited to return to in-person taping for the first time in nearly three years with a live studio audience,” says Founder and Executive Producer, Don Jackson. “The pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the music industry and we’re honored to celebrate, commemorate and honor music trailblazers who have paved the way for the next generation of music and culture.”
Multi-hyphenate LeToya Luckett will co-host the epic night of celebration along with Chicago Actor and Comedian DeRay Davis. The televised special is set to air in national broadcast syndication Saturday, June 4 – Sunday, July 3 and on Bounce TV on Saturday, June 25. The 7th Annual Black Music Honors show is Executive Produced by Don Jackson with Jennifer J. Jackson serving as Producer and Michael A. Johnson as Producer and Director.
ABOUT BLACK MUSIC HONORS
Black Music Honors is an annual two-hour event that acknowledges the legendary African-American artists who have influenced and made significant musical contributions to African-American culture and American music worldwide. Black Music Honors is produced by Chicago-based production company Central City Productions (CCP).
For more information, visit www.blackmusichonors.com and connect on social media @blackmusichonors on Facebook and Instagram or @blackmusichonor on Twitter.
Patreon announces Pull Up
PATREON ANNOUNCES PULL UP, AN INCUBATOR AND COMMUNITY FOR CREATORS OF COLOR, WITH CREATIVE PARTNERS ISSA RAE’S HOORAE MEDIA, BLAIR IMANI, AMANDA SEALES’ SMART FUNNY & BLACK, DURAND BERNARR, AND MORE
Patreon, a membership platform for creators and their most passionate fans, announced Pull Up, an incubator and creative community to give creators of color access to capital and other resources to grow their businesses. Pull Up, powered by Patreon, is supported by and developed with some of the biggest creators of color driving culture today – including Issa Rae’s HOORAE, Blair Imani, Amanda Seales’ Smart Funny & Black, Durand Bernarr, Jade Novah, Nicole Cardoza, Tim Chantarungsu, and Tina Yu, among others.
While the creator economy is growing at an exciting pace, a 2021 study found that BIPOC creators are paid almost a third less (29%) than their white peers. To help bridge this gap, and working with creators of color, Patreon launched Pull Up, a generative ecosystem where creators of color can learn from and grow with industry leaders, and each other, to “pull up” the next generation of creatives.
“We are excited to be a part of Pull Up, powered by Patreon’s Creator Success team, who continue to be a champion for HOORAE on and off the platform,” said Issa Rae, creative partner for Pull Up powered by Patreon. “We share a core set of values in empowering creators of color with access and resources, so I’m thrilled my team and I get to be on this journey with the other creators in the initiative.”
Starting today, creators can visit pullup.patreon.com to learn more about the community and incubator and sign up to participate. Any creator can join the Pull Up Community and gain access to the Pull Up Salon Series, which is a series of community events, panels, and workshops featuring industry-leading creators of color who share how to hone your creative, entrepreneurial, and community-building skills as you grow a creative business of your own. They will also be invited to join the Pull Up community on a dedicated Discord server to connect and learn from their peers. Select Patreon creators will get the opportunity to apply to the incubator for funding.
On Wednesday, April 27, Patreon will host Pull Up Late Night, a worldwide livestream for creators, by creators. The special launch event will feature D Smoke, Nicole Cardoza, and RT TV who will introduce the program, share their creative journeys and discuss what Pull Up means to them. The event starts at 5 pm PT/8pm ET and creators can register for the event at events.patreon.com/pulluplatenight
“As a musician and creator of color, I know firsthand the challenges that many face when hustling to grow, perfect their craft and scale their businesses to be profitable,” said Hewan Abebe, Head of Creator Initiatives for the Patreon Creator Success team. “It’s these experiences that propelled me to develop Pull Up, and it is my hope that the program serves as a conduit for creators of color to retain ownership of their work, inspire community, and foster change to help generations coming up.”
For more information on Pull Up, powered by Patreon, and the upcoming public livestream event on April 27, please visit events.patreon.com/PullUpLateNight.
Mary J. Blige to Receive Prestigious Icon Award
MARY J. BLIGE TO RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS ICON AWARD AT THE “2022 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS”
MRC and NBC today announced that global superstar Mary J. Blige will receive the distinguished Billboard Icon Award at the “2022 Billboard Music Awards” (BBMAs). As a part of the recognition, the ten-time BBMA winner will take the stage for a breathtaking performance that will make for one of the most memorable moments of the evening. The BBMAs will broadcast live coast-to-coast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC and will stream live on Peacock.
Blige joins just ten other artists to ever receive the prestigious Billboard Icon Award, which recognizes outstanding artists who have achieved excellence on the Billboard Charts and have made an indelible
mark on music itself. Since the award’s inauguration in 2011, past recipients include Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Cher, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, and P!NK.
“My career has been such an incredible and unexpected journey that has included many turns into avenues I never could have imagined like acting, producing, launching businesses and now even my own music festival,” said Blige. “Through it all, I always one way or another gravitated back to my first love, music. To be recognized in this way at this moment, with the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards, is an incredible honor and one that I am truly humbled by.”
Mary J. Blige truly defines what it means to be an icon with ten BBMA wins total, nine of which were won when she dominated the 2006 award show. Awards won include R&B Album of the Year (1995); Female R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year (2006); Hot 100 Airplay Song of the Year (2006); R&B Albums Artist of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Album of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Song Airplay of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Song of the Year (2006); R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Artist of the Year (2006); Videoclip of the Year (2006).
For more than 30 years, the BBMAs have celebrated music’s greatest achievements, honoring the hottest names in music today. Unique among music awards shows, finalists are determined by performance on the Billboard Charts. Since 1940, the Billboard Charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs, and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.
The “2022 Billboard Music Awards” is produced by MRC Live & Alternative. Robert Deaton is the executive producer. More information about the “2022 Billboard Music Awards,” including additional performers, host, presenters and more will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets to attend the show are open to the public. Prices per ticket start at $90 USD and are available for purchase HERE. Doors open at 6:30 P.M. ET / 3:30 P.M. PT.
For the latest news on the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) visit billboardmusicawards.com and billboard.com/bbma. For exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube) and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs.
ABOUT MRC LIVE & ALTERNATIVE
MRC Live & Alternative, a division of global entertainment company MRC, is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” and the “Streamy Awards.” MRC Live & Alternative owns one of the world’s most extensive and unique entertainment archive libraries with more than 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For more information please visit: www.mrcentertainment.com.