As I take a moment to reflect, and look back, the Urban One Honors was an event I will cherish forever. A great concept for the culture, and I only see it getting better. From meeting Ms. Cathy Hughes at the first press conference for the Urban One Awards, she exuded confidence, intelligence, life, and love. Hughes is celebrating 40 years in the business this year, and is going about it in a big way.
After going to the press conference, going to the red carpet, and the award show, then watching the show again; just Black Excellence. Seeing Ms. Hughes speak on her journey and growth was inspiring. She made a way on her own, with her own merit, and made an impact on the culture through Urban One and TV One. Not only did she make a way for Black people, but she also allowed diversity in her businesses.
“I give praise and thanks to God from whom all blessings flow for the opportunity to be of service to my community for these 40 years,” said Hughes. “I always say that Radio One is my second baby next to my son and business partner, Alfred Liggins. I am immensely grateful for the men and women who have worked to help make Radio One a success. It started as a single radio station and is now a media family with two cable television networks and various digital media platforms. I look forward to celebrating this milestone and recognizing others who are doing phenomenal work in their industries.”
This is their second year having their honors show, and it took place at the MGM National Harbor. The honors show aired January 20, 2020, the same day as Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.
The honorees included: veteran music executive Sylvia Rhone (Lifetime Achievement Award); Grammy Award-winning recording artist and producer Missy Elliott (Music Innovation Award); Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx (Entertainment Icon Award; Award-winning rapper Chance The Rapper (Represent Change Honoree); and actor/dancer and star of Pose, Ryan Jamaal Swain (Represent Pride Award).
“It’s so amazing to be a part of an organization that is about the excellence of black people,” stated Swain. “To know that I’m an honoree at this year’s Urban One Honors in conjunction with celebrating the 40-year anniversary of Radio One; It just shows we’re in a place where we are accepting innovation, diversity and inclusion – and not just buzz words. It’s so beautiful to have Billy Porter presenting me with my award and it’s going to be an event that I feel will set the tone for the trajectory of entertainment, media, radio and also the world.”
Something I really loved about the event was that people could purchase tickets to attend, it was open to the public. Chris Tucker and Hughes co-hosted the event, and it featured performances from Brandy, Wale, Chanté Moore, and more.
From being one of the outlets covering their Press Supporting Press event, to the red carpet; it was warm, open, and a good time. You had Black people there for a job, but also supporting one another. Meeting new people and building relations, to gathering interviews with various people like Eric Benét, Ms. Juicy, Mona Scott-Young, and more. The exchanges through multiple events only got better, it was a moment.