Cardi B, Drake, Travis Scott & More Honored at Ebony Power 100 Gala

Koi Sojer/Snap'N U Photo
Ethopia Habtemariam at the Ebony Power 100 event at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Nov. 30, 2018 in Beverly Hills, Calif. 

Motown Records receives the Icon Award as former BET chief Debra Lee is presented with the inaugural Chairman's Award

Drake, Cardi B, Travis Scott and Motown Records were among those honored at Ebony's annual Power 100 Gala on Friday (Nov. 30). Presented by Nationwide Insurance at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif., the sit-down affair was hosted by actor and comedian Chris Tucker and featured performances by Grammy Award winner Ne-Yo and emerging act JAMESDAVIS.

Black achievement and excellence was the reverberating theme throughout the evening. Motown President Ethiopia Habtemariam accepted the Icon Award on behalf of the legendary label, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary next year. The award was given in recognition of Motown's historic and artistic legacy as well as its present-day success through Motown and Capitol Music Group's joint venture with Quality Control Music (Migos, Lil Yachty, Lil Baby, and City Girls) and additional roster mates such as BJ the Chicago Kid, and Erykah Badu. Reminiscing back to her childhood in the South, Habtemariam noted, "As of a child of immigrants growing up in Atlanta, my mom personally loved all of the Ebony covers. It made her feel like, 'OK, I can be here in America and I can make it.'"

BET's former chairman/CEO Debra Lee was presented with the inaugural Chairman's Award. Lee also reminisced about growing up and reading Ebony. "I grew up in the era where we did not have a lot of authentic images of African Americans," she said, "We were barely on the television in the 60s and 70s." Lee also referenced BET's mantra during her executive tenure, which was to "respect, reflect and elevate our audience."

Habtemariam was also an honoree in the Women Up category. Quality Control Music's CEO Pierre "Pee" Thomas and COO Kevin "Coach K" Lee were on hand to accept their award in the Arts & Entertainment category, which featured fellow honorees Drake, Cardi B and Travis Scott. Additional honoree categories included Disruptors, MVPs, Community Crusaders, Power Players and Entrepreneurs.

Among the celebrities and public figures spotted in attendance were boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, rapper Saweetie, actor Kofi Siriboe,  actress Susan Kelechi Watson (This Is Us) and actor Ernie Hudson.

Rising Motown sibling trio JAMESDAVIS delivered a soothing and poignant set that included the soulful and eccentric track "Speedboat." Then, labelmate Ne-Yo closed out the evening with a crowd-pleasing set of his greatest hits: "So Sick," "All Because of You," "Miss Independent" and "She Knows" and two hits he penned for others, Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable" and Mario's "Let Me Love You." Ne-Yo concluded his set with Pitbull's popular dance track  "Give Me Everything" that featured himself, Afrojack and Nayer.

In partnership with the Sickle Cell Disease Association, Ebony's Power 100 Gala also raised funds on behalf of the charitable organization. Check out all of the Power 100 Gala honorees here.


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