Interscope's Larry Khan, Radio Consultant Tony Gray & More Honored as Living Legends

Steven S. Williams
Honorees Miller London, Tony Gray, Sheila Eldridge, Regina Jones, Jamie Foster Brown, Larry Khan and Herb Trawick at the Living Legends Foundation Gala.

Living history, giving back, passing the baton and doing the right thing on Election Day: Those were the overriding themes of the Living Legends Foundation’s 20th annual awards gala in Hollywood last night (Oct. 6).

Among the 2016 slate of honorees: Russell Street Entertainment/CEG Music CEO Miller London (the Chairman’s Award), Gray Communications founder/president Tony Gray (Jerry Boulding Radio Executive Award), Interscope senior VP of urban promotion Larry Khan (Music Label Executive Award), Miles Ahead Entertainment CEO Sheila Eldridge (Entrepreneur Award), Sister 2 Sister magazine founder Jamie Foster Brown (Media Executive Award), Pensado’s Place executive producer/co-host Herb Trawick (Creative Visionary Award) and SOUL newspaper founder/editor Regina Jones (Legacy Award).

In his opening remarks to the audience seated inside the Taglyan Cultural Complex, LLF chairman David Linton noted the organization’s 25th anniversary this year. “Before there was MusiCares, there was Living Legends,” said Linton. “We’re dedicated to simply saying we appreciate you for running your leg in the relay race of black music.”

Maury Phillips

Among the evening’s presenters was Epic Records president Sylvia Rhone. Surveying the room before presenting the Media Executive Award to Brown, Rhone said, “All of my friends are here tonight. I’m so full of love for all of you, because you were a major part of my career; you’re who I learned from.” Also spotted in the audience: Warner/Chappell chairman/CEO and LLF board member Jon Platt, fellow LLF board member and TwentyThree 12 Artists Management president Marcus Grant (Toni Braxton), Interscope Geffen A&M chairman/CEO John Janick, Interscope vice chairman Steve Berman, SESAC West Coast vp of writer-publisher relations James Leach, Grammy-winning mix engineer and Pensado’s Place co-host Dave Pensado, BMG VP of marketing Tim Reid and KTWV (94.7 The Wave) Los Angeles morning personality Pat Prescott.

Upon receiving his award, Interscope’s Khan credited his father (music promotion legend Joey Bonner) and mentor (LLF president and former Jive Records executive Varnell Johnson) for schooling him in a promotions career dotted with such successes as Usher, Justin Timberlake, A Tribe Called Quest, Tory Lanez and others. Honoree Trawick referenced Warner/Chappell’s Platt and Spotify global head of creator services Troy Carter (“I’m inspired by tomorrow; these are some bad boys”) before advising everyone to “do what you need to do to get souls to the polls. If you’re voting for Trump, OK, I don’t understand. But you are all influencers. Make this shit happen.” Fellow honoree Regina Jones picked up the voting torch as well to hearty applause: “I urge all women to show their muscle and support. We have the power … and you men know how powerful we are. We’re the ones who keep it going.”

The evening’s entertainment included 19 Recordings/Motown artist La’Porsha Renae, who sang her newly released single “Good Woman.” And Bank On It Entertainment artist Guordan Banks performed “Keep It in Mind,” his first No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs chart.