Today, The Black American Music Association and its Board of
Directors, led by Co-Founders Michael Mauldin and Demmette Guidry, announces The ICE
Medal of Honor inaugural celebration at Atlanta’s prestigious Ray Charles Performing Arts
Center at Morehouse College on Sunday, October 15, 2023. This groundbreaking event will be
a historic Black tie evening honoring and paying tribute to the legends, creative visionaries,
and trailblazers within Black American music, who have captivated audiences worldwide and
left an everlasting impact on the cultural landscape.
Among the distinguished recipients of The ICE Medal of Honor are some of the most
remarkable names in the industry, including:
● Alicia Keys - The Ella Fitzgerald “Gold Standard Award”
● Grandmaster Flash - “Transformative Award”
● Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis - “Creative Impact Award”
● Robert F. Smith (Philanthropist) - The Ray Charles/Harry Belafonte “Patron of Arts
● Suzanne de Passe (Motown Productions’ 1st Black female president) - The Suzanne de
Passe “Trailblazer Award"
● Jeffrey Harleston (Universal Music Group) - Pace/Harrell “Executive Leadership
● A special salute to the iconic Michael Jackson with the establishment of the Michael
Jackson ICON award
The evening will provide music direction from the incomparable Ray Chew, poetic
interpretation of colorful era’s by Marcus Amaker and segment curation by the legendary
Wyclef Jean and gospel great Donald Lawrence. Hosted by various A list-celebrity talent, the
ICE Medal of Honor seeks to shine a spotlight on the indelible contributions made by artists
and executives who have enriched the world with their talents and also paved the way for
generations to come. The ICE (Imperial Crown of Excellence) will serve as a beacon of
recognition & education of the Black American music art form and an ode to the resilience,
innovation, and brilliance of its creatives.
Executive Producers of the ICE-Medal of Honor are BAM-Association Co-Founders Michael
Mauldin & Demmette Guidry, along with Derrick Williams of DNA Media Group and
Co-Executive producer Jermaine Dupri (who as Hall of Fame song writer, producer & CEO is
celebrating 30 years of So So Def). The program is being produced by Mauldin & Williams and
Directed by Kevin Swain.
Starting at 7 pm ET, guests will experience a poetic evening of elegance, music, inspiration,
education and celebration of the last 100 years of Black music excellence. Attendees can
expect a captivating blend of live performances, heartfelt speeches, moving tributes and
authentic storytelling that reflect the profound influence of these music luminaries.
"We are thrilled to launch the ICE Medal of Honor and to recognize these outstanding
individuals who have made an enduring mark on the world through their art and creativity,"
said Michael Mauldin, Co-Producer and visionary behind the event. "This celebration is a
testament to the power of Black American music in shaping culture and inspiring
Among those recognized on October 15 are icons of legendary status such as the highly
acclaimed GRAMMY winning producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis; who are celebrating fifty
years of success and professional partnership within the business of music. As well as those
who have made their impact in today’s musical landscape such as Alicia Keys. Recipient of
The Ella Fitzgerald “Gold Standard Award” Alicia Keys first made her mark with chart-topping
2001 debut Songs in A Minor. Since then, the contemporary artist has won 15 GRAMMY
Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 9 Billboard Music Awards and 7 BET Awards to date.
A seminal hip hop founder, Grandmaster Flash is accepting the “Transformative Award.” He
has been recognized as the first DJ to play the turntables as a musical instrument, helping to
elevate the status of the DJ to a masterful, artistic position. In 2007, Grandmaster Flash and
the Furious Five became the first hip hop group ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame, with a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award, The BET Icon Award and many others
already under his belt.
In addition to those who have made musical contributions, the ICE Medal of Honor will also
honor those creative visionaries and business trailblazers who have made indelible
contributions to Black American Music. Among those are philanthropist and founder of the
technology software private equity firm Vista Equity Partners; Robert F. Smith and Suzanne
de Passe, Motown Productions’ first Black female president and discoverer of The Jackson 5
and The Commodores. Rounding out the list of Award winners is Executive Leader Jeffrey
Harleston General Counsel, EVP of Business & Legal Affairs of Universal Music Group.
Harleston is also Co-Founder of the UMG Task Force For Meaningful Change, an organization
formed within UMG in the summer of 2020 to identify, coordinate and implement social
change initiatives specifically directed at the Black and Latino communities. Harleston has
been named one of Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100” and is annually recognized by Billboard
on the magazine’s “Power 100” list of the most powerful executives in the music industry.
With the arts, community, education, mentorship and internship being a driving factor and
focus of the Black American Music Association & Foundation, a special acknowledgement
during the ICE Medal of Honor celebration is being given to the Otis Redding Foundation,
dedicated to improving the quality of life for community through education and the
empowerment of its youth. Also honored will be Dr. Uzee Brown, who retired earlier this year
as professor and chair of the Morehouse College music department after 49 years of service
to the institution. The past president of the National Association of Negro Musicians, his
works have been performed internationally at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and beyond.
About The Black American Music Association:
The Black American Music Association is a non-profit 501(c)(6) trade association founded in
2017 by Michael Mauldin and Demmette Guidry. The organization is comprised of executives
and creators from music, and other entertainment related industries along with corporate and
community leaders. The BAM organization was created to preserve, protect, and promote the
legacy and future of authentic Black American Music, its culture, community, and creatives. It
champions the influence, positioning and understanding of the narrative by supporting young
innovative talent, creators, and executives, while leading us into the future of this valuable indigenous art form.