Today (Aug. 4), the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) revealed honorees for its second annual Music in Action Awards Gala on Sept. 22 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Jon “Big Jon” Platt, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Publishing (pictured at left), will be receiving the Clarence Avant Trailblazer award. Kevin Liles, CEO of 300 Elektra Entertainment (right), will be honored with the BMAC Social Impact award alongside Amazon Music and the Recording Academy. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, attorney and author Brittany K. Barnett, and Cultural Creators’ Joi Brown will be recipients of the BMAC Change Agent award. And finally, Rep. Maxine Waters (center) will receive the inaugural BMAC Icon award.
Said Platt: “Clarence Avant is an extremely significant person in my life, so to be bestowed with the BMAC Trailblazer award in his name is a special honor. Clarence blazed a trail that continues to inspire so many of us, and I appreciate BMAC for following his path towards equality in the music business.”
“In the 35 years I have spent in our industry, I have tried to make every decision and every movement intentional with the overarching goal of social justice and equality,” added Liles. “It is my mission to bring about change so that boardrooms reflect the music that is being released. I am honored and humbled to receive BMAC’s Social Impact Award and am excited to continue the conversation and bring about necessary change in our industry.”
The recipient of this year’s Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award — which went to the Weeknd at BMAC’s first-ever ceremony in 2021 — will be announced at a later date.
The event honors the key individuals and organizations who have affected positive change and helped improve equity within the Black community.
BMAC is a group of 30-plus artist managers, attorneys, business managers, agents and other industry executives that have joined forces “to uphold and actualize the mission of Black Lives Matter in the music industry and reach racial justice not just across labels, publishers, agencies, distributors, and DSP’s but throughout society at large.”
The group was initially created on Juneteenth of 2020 and has been endorsed by such artists as Travis Scott, Post Malone, Mary J. Blige, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Lil Nas X, Khalid, Cardi B, Earth Wind & Fire, Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Missy Elliott, Miley Cyrus and many others — many of whom are represented by BMAC members.
Back in June, the Coalition released a report detailing the lack of Black representation in mainstream country music and detailed a list of specific changes it hoped the music industry would consider. Among the list of demands, the BMAC urged country artists and companies operating in the business of live country music “to publicly ban the Confederate flags at shows and festivals” and also proposed a “Transformative Support for Emerging Black Artists and Young Professionals through a Guarantee Basic Income Program,” to financially support Black emerging artists and young professionals.