From rags to riches: how the Williams brothers went from poverty to becoming some of the richest men in hip hop
“The platforms are for individuals who have something they want to share.” The words of Charlamagne Tha God while accepting the Living Legends Foundation’s Jerry Boulding Radio Executive Award. The foundation’s 8th anniversary Awards Gala held at The Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, celebrated eight awardees.
Charlamagne challenged the audience to reflect on their lives every daily “Who have you empowered or assisted in making people greater versions of yourself?” This theme was reiterated throughout the evening, when Cash Money Records cofounders/CEOs Bryan “Birdman”, Williams and Ronald “Slim,” Williams winning an award called the Lifetime Achievement Award. Polow da Don, the organizer of the evening made a special tribute to Brothers Williams prior to the award ceremony “They are the ones who represent the trenches, and provide a voice.
I’d like to express my gratitude to my mentors, particularly Jean Riggins, for their assistance in getting me to the position I am at today. Without their support, I would not be the person I am today. Sharon Heyward’s career is an inspiration to everybody and I’m thankful to be able to have her as a character model.
Sharon Heyward, Solutionist LLC’s proprietor and manager, was given the Legacy Award by David C. Linton (LLF’s chairman ex-chairman) as well as Ray Harris (longtime industry friends and coworkers). After receiving the final award of the night, Heyward declared “I am a straight, no-chaser gal” and was visibly moved. “One of the most significant relics of my work are my mentors and those who’ve told me how much I’ve helped during their career.” The critics were also taken to task by her for demeaning the older generation in the field, saying that “age is an unimportant measurement.”
She added “That can be a signal of disrespect for the legacy given to you.” “We are required to show respect for one another, in order to be able to touch back and bring forward.” She was joined on stage by her daughter Monique who is also employed in the field of music. Heyward gave snippets of Impressions hit songs “Keep on Pushing” and “I’m so proud” before concluding “The music industry is no fun for females. Even though I would not have wanted Monique, my daughter in the program, I was so pleased with her…and I’d like to thank all those who watched as a role model for those who watched.
Tuma Basa won Tuma Basa, the Digital Executive Award winner. She manages Black cultural and entertainment on YouTube. Johnnie Walker is the Mike Bernardo Female Executive Award winner. She was first woman to receive a promotion at Def Jam Recordings. Henry “Hank” Caldwell is the Founders Award winner. He’s a veteran industry executive who also served as the founder/president and director for HBCUGO TV, which is a streaming television network that streams live.
It is evident that women working who work in the world of music have a long way still to go towards achieving equality with their male counterparts. The future generation of female performers will succeed with strong model and instructors. Thanks for having me as an element of your discussion. I look eager to continue working with you in achieving equality in music industry.