Backbeat: Miles Davis' Forever Stamp Launches in U.S., France
Backbeat: Miles Davis' Forever Stamp Launches in U.S., France

davis (L-R): Vince Wilburn, Jr., nephew of Miles Davis; Cheryl Davis, daughter of Miles Davis and Erin Davis, son of Miles Davis. (Photo: Earl E. Gibson III)

Miles Davis and French singer Edith Piaf were both honored with Forever stamps June 12, which debuted simultaneously in the U.S. and France.

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In a ceremony at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, the stamps were unveiled in front of a crowd that included Davis' son Erin Davis, daughter Cheryl Davis, and nephew Vince Wilburn, Jr., as well as Blue Note Records chief creative officer Don Was, SiriusXM program director Mark Ruffin, jazz bassist Ron Carter, producer George Avakian, actress Cicely Tyson, and U.S. deputy postmaster general Ronald Stroman, who dedicated the stamps.

was (L-R): Erin Davis, son of Miles Davis; Don Was, President of Blue Note Records and Vince Wilburn, Jr., nephew of Miles Davis. (Photo: Earl E. Gibson III)

The stamps were designed by U.S. Postal Service art director Greg Breeding, with Davis' based on a 1970 black and white photo taken by David Gahr.

Speeches by the Davis family were augmented with remarks by Avakian, who was a longtime producer for Columbia and worked to sign Davis early in his career, Tyson and Was, while a trumpet trio from Davis' alma mater Juilliard performed "So What," "Human Nature" and "Kind of Blue" with the help of a rhythm section.

davis-was Don Was and Erin Davis talk in front of Miles Davis' new Forever stamp. (Photo: Earl E. Gibson III)

Los Angeles will host a second stamp dedication June 27, which will be followed by a "Miles Davis Celebration" concert hosted by Herbie Hancock at Hollywood Bowl. Hancock will be providing the musical score for an upcoming feature film starring Don Cheadle and based on Davis' life.