BAMA is launching "the ICE Medal of Honor to prominently recognize and honor" Black American music, co-founder Michael Mauldin tells PEOPLE
The Black American Music Association is recognizing creative icons with a brand-new series of awards.
On Wednesday, the organization announced Alicia Keys, Grandmaster Flash, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and others will be presented with the first-ever ICE Medal of Honor awards at an inaugural ceremony in Atlanta next month.
The ICE (a.k.a. Imperial Crown of Excellence) Medal of Honor recognizes individuals in music who've made an impact on Black culture, from performers to industry executives — each of whom will receive a specific award during the celebration at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center at Morehouse College on Oct. 15.
Keys will receive the Ella Fitzgerald gold standard award, while Grandmaster Flash will be presented with the transformative award and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis will be given the creative impact award.
Philanthropist Robert F. Smith will get the Ray Charles/Harry Belafonte patron of arts award, businesswoman and producer Suzanne de Passe will receive the Suzanne de Passe trailblazer award, Universal Music Group's Jeffrey Harleston will be given the Pace/Harrell executive leadership award.
Additionally, the late Michael Jackson will be recognized with the establishment of the Michael Jackson ICON award.
"We have established the ICE Medal of Honor to prominently recognize and honor the last 100 years of Black American Music, its champions, leaders and creatives," Black American Music Association co-founder Michael Mauldin tells PEOPLE in a statement.
"We acknowledge our history and inspire the future through mentorship, education and the arts. We are focused on family, culture & community and being better established at the forefront of global creative prominence," continues Mauldin, who's also co-producer of the ICE Medal of Honor. "I look forward to the day where this Black American Music art form receives the public acknowledgement and respect it so deserves."
The Black American Music Association was founded by Mauldin and Demmette Guidry in 2017, and the organization's goal is to "preserve, protect, and promote the legacy and future" of Black music in the United States.
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