Living Legends Foundation Honors Dyana Williams, Frank Ski & More

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Ray Harris and current chairman David Linton flank lifetime achievement honoree Dyana Williams.

Black Music Month co-founder and Influence Entertainment CEO Dyana Williams was presented with the lifetime achievement award at the Living Legends Foundation’s annual awards gala and dinner Friday evening (Oct. 4). Williams was among the 10 honorees saluted at Hollywood’s Tagylan Cultural Complex before an audience that included artists Kelly Rowland, Bobby Brown, Tito Jackson and Urban One founder/chairperson Cathy Hughes.

After being presented with her award by longtime friend Hughes, Williams told the audience of radio and record executives and their guests, “The executive, the woman, the activist I am today is because of Cathy Hughes. And this award means so much because it’s coming from my peers ... and through a career that is my passion.”

A Philadelphia radio personality and freelance voiceover artist as well, Williams spoke about co-launching Black Music Month (June) with legendary producer Kenny Gamble (“I love that man and all the great songs he wrote for me”) and being mentored by pioneering WBLS New York air personality Frankie Crocker. Declaring herself a “proud Afro-Latina woman,” Williams concluded, “What a blessing to do what we love, working in this industry. We have the blessing of life and each other.”

Also honored during the ceremony were Black Radio Exclusive (BRE) publisher Sidney Miller (A.D. Washington chairman’s award); WVEE (V-103) Atlanta personality/journalist Frank Ski and Core Communications president/CEO Steve Hegwood (both recipients of the Jerry Boulding radio executive award); eOne VP, promotions Maurice White (music label executive award), RCA Inspiration senior VP/GM Phil Thornton (gospel music executive award); Unlimited Contacts CEO Dedra Tate (Mike Bernardo executive award); Service Broadcast Group owner/operator Hymen Childs (broadcast icon award); W&W Public Relations senior VP Karen Lee (media executive award); and BYOB (Be Your Own Brand) founder/CEO Sheila Coates (entrepreneur award).

DeDe McGuire, host of the nationally syndicated radio show DeDe in the Morning, served as the evening’s emcee. Rounding out the program was a special performance by The Jacksons’ Tito Jackson, who sang his recently released solo single “One Way Street.” Chew Entertainment c-principals Ray Chew and his wife Vivian Scott-Chew co-chaired the event.

Founded by veteran music executive Ray Harris, the Living Legends Foundation raises funds to provide financial assistance to industry trailblazers in need as well as scholarships to college students seeking careers within the industry. The foundation’s executive team is helmed currently by chairman David Linton and president Varnell Johnson.


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