The 2018 Celebration of Legends

The 2018 Celebration of Legends annual event held May 31, 2018 did not disappoint. This Extravagant Affair was hosted by the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) and established to honor legendary artists who have influenced and made a significant contribution to African American music. A fitting tribute in itself as Nashville is widely known as “Music City USA.”

“As we’re still a year away from its planned opening in Nashville, the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) made its presence known in a big way,” stated one of the NMAAM executives.

Stokley WIlliams and Mona Scott-Young

The awardees included; Gap Band front man Charlie “Uncle Charlie” Wilson, Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers, gospel great Yolanda Adams, Nashville-based blues star Keb’ Mo’ and entertainment mogul Mona Scott-Young.

The museum also assembled quite the lineup of artists to pay tribute to the honorees, including BeBe Winans, Tamia, Johnny Gill and Anthony Hamilton, who put a noted spin on Keb’ Mo’s “Am I Wrong.” Another one of the many show stopping performances was Avery Sunshine took the crowd to church with her tribute to Yolanda Adams blessing the audience with, “The Battle Is Not Yours”.

Keb’ Mo’ was the first to make an acceptance speech, but he wasn’t the last to stress that recognition from NMAAM was a very special honor indeed.

He proudly said; “I’m very blessed, very grateful and honored to be here in the room with folks that understand what I’m doing in the industry. ”I’m going to put this in the kitchen at the dinner table, so I can look at it when I have breakfast.”

After a tribute that included a performance from Tweet and a video message from Missy Elliott, Scott-Young spoke about her longtime role as a music manager.

“They say that is a thankless job, but tonight I have to disagree.”I get a chance every day to wake up to a world that’s not so kind, but bring more kindness and love to it, simply by existing, Because God placed a love in me for people that I can shake, and I don’t want to,” said. Adams.”

As the evening continued on, the performers continued to up the ante. Not long after Avery Sunshine brought the house down on Adams’ “The Battle is the Lord’s,” Johnny Gill was off the stage and in the crowd, eventually coaxing Charlie Wilson to take the lead on Gap Band’s “Ain’t Nothing but a Party.”

Wilson even kept singing during his acceptance speech, breaking into “I’m Blessed” at the podium, with the house band backing him up. Surely the event and all who had a hand in pulling it together or attending it will share pleasant memories for some time to come.

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