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Darius Rucker & India.Arie Named National Chairs for Nashville's African-American Music Museum

Darius Rucker 2016
Rick Diamond/Getty Images for National Museum of African American Music

H. Beecher Hicks III, NMAAM President/CEO, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, Singer/Songwriter/NMAAM National Chairperson Darius Rucker and Kevin P. Lavender NMAAM Board/Fifth Third Bank attend NMAAM National Chairs And Fundraising Progress Press Confrence at Nashville Vistor Center on May 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.

Additional chairs include fellow artists CeCe Winans & Keb’ Mo’.

Nashville’s National Museum of African American Music has announced that artists Darius Rucker, India.Arie, CeCe Winans and Keb’ Mo’ will serve as its national chairs. The announcement precedes the museum’s third annual tribute luncheon, My Music Matters: A Celebration of Legends, taking place May 6 at Nashville’s Renaissance Hotel. This year’s honorees include Warner/Chappell CEO Jon Platt and veteran producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

Warner Chappell's Jon Platt, Gamble & Huff Among 2016 'My Music Matters' Honorees

“NMAAM will tell the rich story of the development of American music from the beginning of our country’s formation up through the birth of hip-hop and beyond,” Rucker says in a statement. “I am passionate about doing everything I can to help, as are my fellow national chairs.”

Concurrently, Sen. Steve Dickerson announced that the Tennessee state legislature’s approval of the 2016-17 budget included a $2 million gift to NMAAM. Museum officials noted that with this gift, the organization has received more than $4 million in commitments within the last several months.

Citing Nashville’s own $10 million commitment, Mayor Megan Barry added, “It will be great to have NMAAM on 5th Avenue, facing the Ryman Auditorium,” which will be the start of Nashville’s Avenues of the Arts. NMAAM is slated to open in 2018.

Also announced were new members of NMAAM’s board of directors and national advisory board. The former includes Nashville’s former mayor Karl Dean, BMI VP of writer relations Catherine Brewton and eOne Entertainment VP/GM Phil Thornton; gospel artist Richard Smallwood is among the new advisory board members. NMAAM is headed by president/CEO H. Beecher Hicks III.

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