Billboard To Debut Otis Redding Award

Billboard will present the inaugural Otis Redding Excellence Award for outstanding achievement in music, culture and business Sept. 8 at the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards show. The event caps the B

Billboard will present the inaugural Otis Redding Excellence Award for outstanding achievement in music, culture and business Sept. 8 at the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards show. The event caps the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Conference, scheduled for Sept. 6-8 in Atlanta.

The award, launched in honor of the 40th anniversary in 2007 of Redding's death, will go to a multitalented artist who is also a positive role model in the R&B/hip-hop community. The inauguration of this award will feature a special tribute by Redding's sons Dexter and Otis III.

"It is indeed an honor to have Billboard recognize Otis and his legacy by establishing an award in his honor," says Redding's widow, Zelma. "During Otis' short life here on Earth he exemplified strength, companionship, longevity of talent and a commitment for controlling his business interests and career path, without ever neglecting his family, friends or fans. We look forward to acknowledging [that] spirit, influence, integrity and timelessness in this year's recipient and the recipients for years to come."

Redding was a singer, songwriter and music publisher of commanding stature who still embodies the essence of soul music. Among the songs the Stax/Volt artist penned are "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "Respect," "Pain in My Heart," "Satisfaction" and "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay."

The Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Awards show will also include a performance by Grand Hustle/Atlantic artist Young Dro, who is an Atlanta native. His hit single "Shoulder Lean" is conquering urban radio, and has already sold more than 500,000 ringtones.