Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame Inducts James Brown, Shirley Caesar, Kirk Franklin, Beyonce and Others at Inaugural Ceremony in Georgia

Christian Combs, son of Sean Combs, poses with his father’s plaque on the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame in downtown Atlanta. (Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“This is the only event like this in the world in Black music,” Jermaine Dupri said, standing behind a Lucite podium in the VIP lounge of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “I feel this will be the most important award ceremony in our business.”

Dupri was preparing to induct Otis Redding into the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame, a ceremony that began late Thursday morning on the blistering sidewalk near the stadium — close to the intersection of Northside and Martin Luther King Jr. drives — and continued inside the venue with a formal presentation.

The walk of fame is a collaboration between the Georgia Entertainment Caucus and the Black American Music Association. Plans call for at least an annual – if not twice-yearly – ceremony to honor Black entertainment greatness with plaques installed along the sidewalk.

The inaugural class also included James Brown, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Shirley Caesar, Missy Elliott, OutKast, Beyonce, Sean Combs, Kirk Franklin and Usher.

Some artists, including Elliott, Caesar, Franklin and OutKast’s Big Boi, participated in the event, while others, such as Jones, sent thanks via video and some posthumous honorees were represented by family.

Sitting at a table with her sisters, Brown’s daughter, Deanna Brown Thomas, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she hopes younger generations will be inspired by seeing her father’s plaque and the crown emblem emblazoning it and salute the trailblazers of his generation.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Melissa Ruggieri