The Recording Academy® announced today 12-time GRAMMY®-winning artist John Legend will be honored during Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective taking place in-person during GRAMMY Week. Legend will be receiving the first-ever Recording Academy Global Impact Award for his personal and professional achievements in the music industry.
Legend will be celebrated with a performance by Summer Walker, and D-Nice will be spinning music throughout the night, with MC Lyte as the voice of the evening, Adam Blackstone as the musical director and Jimmy Jam, the first Black Chair of the Recording Academy Board of Trustees and Songwriting Hall of Fame inductee, will be making remarks. Additional special guests to be announced at a later date. The inaugural Black Music Collective event is taking place at Resorts World Las Vegas on Sat, April 2, 2022, the evening preceding the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards(opens in a new tab)®.
“It is our distinct honor to celebrate John Legend as the inaugural recipient of the Recording Academy Honors’ Global Impact Award,” said Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Co-President of the Recording Academy. “John is one of the most important artists of our time, someone who leads by example and pushes important boundaries consistently across music, philanthropy and activism. His contributions and impact to music and our culture are unparalleled.”
“On behalf of the Black Music Collective, we are honored to bring together some of the most influential creatives of our time to celebrate John Legend ahead of Music’s Biggest Night®,” said Riggs Morales, Chair of the Black Music Collective. “This event is a reflection of our continued work as we strive to celebrate the greatest and brightest in Black music who transcend beyond race and genre.”
As a 12-time GRAMMY-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and philanthropist, John Legend began his musical career behind the scenes over 20 years ago working with artists such as Lauryn Hill, JAY-Z and Alicia Keys. He then signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music and released his debut album Get Lifted, which reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200 Charts and was certified double platinum by the RIAA. Legend made history as the first Black man to win the coveted EGOT (Emmy, GRAMMY, Oscar, and Tony Award). Throughout his career, he has collaborated with a multitude of artists including Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Rick Ross, Raphael Saadiq, Juanes, Sebastián Yatra, Chance the Rapper, Common, André 3000, The Roots, Tony Bennett, Jhené Aiko, Estelle, Esperanza Spalding, and Ariana Grande. Not only is he a beloved music creator to his peers, he is also a philanthropist who performed at many benefit concerts to raise awareness of social issues, and in 2014 founded the FREEAMERICA campaign, which aims to help end mass incarceration in the United States. Legend is currently a part of the Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees and is an Honorary Chair of the Black Music Collective.
Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Summer Walker will be performing at the event. The R&B streaming supernova who hails from Atlanta released her debut album Over It in 2019, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and featured her hit single “Playing Games.” The album made R&B history for the number of streams during its debut week. In November of 2021, Summer released her sophomore album Still Over It, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and broke the record for the album with the most one-week streams ever by a female R&B artist. Still Over It is the first R&B album by a female act to top the Billboard 200 albums chart since 2016.
D-Nice will be performing throughout the evening. Over the course of an unbelievable journey from the streets of Harlem to touring and recording with Boogie Down Productions to The White House, Derrick “D-Nice” Jones went from being a pillar of the culture’s history to actually making history himself. The legendary DJ, rapper, producer, photographer, and philanthropist has moved millions on wax with timeless records, on stage at unforgettable gigs, and online with his revolutionary Club Quarantine Instagram Live series. The latter notably set a precedent and built a template for numerous Instagram Live series to follow during the Pandemic. His influence would be recognized industrywide. The NAACP Image Awards named him 2021 Entertainer Of The Year, the BET Awards made him an honorary recipient of the “Shine A Light” Award, and he took home the 2020 Webby Artist of the Year award in the category of “Special Achievement.”
Adam Blackstone is a multi-faceted bass player, musician, GRAMMY-nominated writer, and Emmy®-nominated musical director. He has served as the musical director for acts such as Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, and Eminem, and he most recently cultivated the Super Bowl 56 Halftime Show alongside Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem. His expertise as musical director has shaped today’s biggest shows, including the GRAMMY Awards, the Oscars, NBC’s “The Voice,” numerous BET, VH1 and MTV specials, and hit Fox shows “The Four” and “The Masked Singer.”
MC Lyte will be the voice of the evening. MC Lyte is an American rapper, DJ and two-time GRAMMY Award nominee for the Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Female Rap Solo Performance Categories. She has served eight years at the Recording Academy as Chair to the Rap Committee, President of the Los Angeles Chapter, National Trustee and Governor as well as sitting on several Awards and Nominations Committees. Following the release of her debut album Lyte as a Rock in 1988, she became the first solo female rapper to put out a full-length studio album. She has since released eight solo albums and founded Hip Hop Sisters, a nonprofit organization dedicated to spotlighting leaders and creators in hip-hop, the entertainment industry and the corporate world.
Jimmy Jam, Honorary Chair of the Black Music Collective and first Black Chairman of the Recording Academy, will be offering remarks for the evening. He is a five-time GRAMMY-winning R&B/Pop Singer, Songwriter, and Producer. He co-wrote monster hits for Janet Jackson, George Michael, Mariah Carey, and more with his partner, Terry Lewis.
Sponsored by Binance, IBM, Mastercard, Hilton, GREY GOOSE Vodka, and Amazon Music, this event will bring together the biggest stars and executives in the music business under one roof for an evening to remember.
MVD Inc will be producing the Recording Academy Honors Presented By The Black Music Collective GRAMMY Week event. MVD Inc is an innovative boutique creative agency specializing in strategic positioning, immersive experiences and integrated marketing. Founded in 2002, MVD Inc boasts an impressive roster of A-list clients and Fortune 500 companies in the music, film, fashion, and technology industries. It’s in sisters Miatta Johnson and Massah David’s DNA to provide forward-thinking creative direction to brands which include Universal Pictures, Netflix, Kanye West, and ESSENCE Magazine.