Pictured are…Danny Bakewell, Ethiopia Habtemariam, Clarence Avant, Quincy Jones and Lee Bailey
Hundreds filled the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Ballroom to witness the Black Business Association (BBA), the oldest ethnic business organization in the State of California, commemorated Black Music Month to recognize two nationally-renowned African American entertainment icons: music executive and film producer Clarence Avant, and radio pioneer Lee Bailey last night a the Salute to Black Music Awards Gala.This year’s theme was “The Business Behind the Music;” Ms. Ethiopia Habtemariam, President, Motown Records & Urban Music-UMPG, Inc., served as the Awards Dinner Chairperson, and the illustrious Mr. Quincy Jones was the Honorary Awards Dinner Chairman, for his close and longtime friend, Clarence.
The ballroom was filled with Black entrepreneurs and executives in every business sector.Danny Bakewell, Sr., owner of The Bakewell Company owner the Los Angeles Sentinel and co-founder of the National Black United Fund, gave a riveting speech about how Black Businesses must support each other. Also in attendance were Debra Lee, Chairman & CEO BET Network, Honorary Gwen Moore, GeM Communications, Jon Platt, CEO/Chairman Warner Chappell Music, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chairman of the Board Supervisor, Second District, Nicole Avant Sarandos (Former US Ambassador to the Bahamas), Ted Sarandos (COO, Netflix), Jerry Moss (Co-founder A&M Records), just to name a few. Grammy Award Winner/Songwriter & Producer BeBe Winans and young vocalist Zipporah Robinson both sang the perfect songs for this special occasion.
“Clarence Avant and Lee Bailey are two highly influential executives in the music andentertainment industries,” said BBA President and CEO Earl “Skip” Cooper II. “They each are single-handedly responsible for opening doors and making the way for today’sblack music genres. It is the BBA’s honor to acknowledge and highlight their contributions to disseminating African American culture around the world.”