The 2017 Trumpet Awards, held in Atlanta during awards season, is one of the nation’s premier events heralding the accomplishments of African American men and women who enhance the culture with their storied contributions to the arts, social justice, civic involvement and philanthropic engagement. These socially and politically conscientious honorees constitute an impressive assembly of local and national leaders in their respective arenas.
Delicate and demure in stature, but the larger than life Trumpet Awards founder, Xernona Clayton is well acquainted with overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to bring an idea or a dream to fruition. In a special tribute to Clayton, who received the distinguished “Golden Trumpet Award” in recognition of her unparalleled leadership and steadfast work in building the legacy of the awards, Clayton announced that the prestigious awards event will be hosted by Bounce TV. “I’m a little nervous,” said the Atlanta socialite, “But the good people and BounceTV have agreed to keep this awards show going well into the future.” Coupled with the entrée of BounceTV’s sponsorship announcement, Nissan North America was the official vehicle sponsor for the 25th Anniversary of the Trumpet Awards. Nissan’s presence and vehicle sponsorship at this year’s award celebration are symbolic of Nissan’s commitment to the African-American community and Diversity and Inclusion principles that exist at the center of their corporation.
Hosted by “Black-ish” and two-time EMMY® nominated writer and actor Deon Cole and “Soul Food,” “The Real Husbands of Hollywood” and seven-time NAACP Image Award nominated actress Nicole Ari Parker, the lively ceremony was marked by an outpouring of love and appreciation for all who attended, audience members not excluded, as celebrities from Johnny Gill, who delivered a soulful and impromptu rendition of “My, My, My” to actor Clifton Powell who recited an excerpt of Dr. King’s legendary “I Have a Dream” speech, which prompted an emotional and spontaneous launch into “We Shall Overcome” by attendees.
The 25th Annual Trumpet Awards honored daytime EMMY® nominee Wendy Williams, who received the Trumpet Award for Entertainment and NBA legend Center Dikembe Mutombo, was recognized with the Humanitarian Trumpet Award.
New Edition, who’s taken over the month of January, with an epic three-part biopic premiering and the reveal of their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Trumpet, in addition to a special tribute from Silk and Jagged Edge. GRAMMY®-winning soul singer Peabo Bryson will accept the Legend Trumpet and fashion blogger Gabi Gregg being given the Trailblazer Trumpet Award.
The Lifetime Achievement Trumpet Award-winning music group, New Edition received musical salutations from R&B bands Jagged Edge, Silk and The Transitions with a medley of the iconic group’s hits including “Candy Girl,” Mr. Telephone Man” and “Cool It Now” that had audience members on their feet and dancing in the aisles.
Regina Belle, BJ The Chicago Kid and Kenny Lattimore performing “A Whole New World,” “Feel the Fire” and “If Ever You’re in My Arms Again” to honor Trumpet Legend Award recipient Peabo Bryson, which was awarded by music legend Bill Withers.
Other Trumpet Awards show highlights included a show-stopping all-star Gospel Music Tribute featuring Shirley Caesar, Erica Campbell, Jekalyn Carr, Le’Andria Johnson, Travis Greene and Canton Jones. Tamela Mann, Lalah Hathaway and Keke Wyatt brought the house down with individual performances.
The 25th Annual Trumpet Awards ceremony took place at Cobb Energy Center Performance Theatre on Saturday, Jan. 21 and premieres on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 9/8:00pm CST on BounceTV
To view full photo gallery of 25th Annual Trumpet Awards Red Carpet click here.