Chaka Khan, Bill Withers, Kool & the Gang and the Funk Brothers are among the legendary acts who will be honored at the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s 20th anniversary Pioneer Awards. The ceremony will take place Sept. 9 in Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

During a press conference today (April 30) at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, R&B Foundation board member Kenneth Gamble and Pioneer Awards ambassador Teddy Pendergrass announced the 2008 slate of honorees:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Chaka Khan

Individual Artists Awards: Teena Marie, Bill Withers and Sugar Pie DeSanto

Group Awards: Kool & the Gang and The Whispers

Sidemen Award: The Funk Brothers

Legacy Award: Donny Hathaway

Leadership Award: Al Bell of Stax Records

R&B Foundation executive director Patricia Wilson Aden also accepted $10,000 from The Grammy Foundation Grant Program. The funds will be used to establish the R&B Foundation’s archival program, encompassing 20 years’ worth of videos, oral histories, rare photographs and other R&B memorabilia.