Urban One Honors celebrates honorees and 40-year legacy of Radio One

Earl Gibson

The event was a star-studded affair

The annual Urban One Honors at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on Thursday, December 5. Some of the biggest names in film, television, and music gathered for a star-studded affair were on hand as Urban One Founder and Chairwoman Cathy Hughes and actor Chris Tucker served as hosts. The prestigious event celebrated the 40-year legacy of Radio One.

Cathy Hughes and Chris Tucker host Urban One Honors
Cathy Hughes and Chris Tucker (Photo Credit Earl Gibson)

This year’s honorees included: veteran music executive Sylvia Rhone (Lifetime Achievement Honor); Grammy Award-winning recording artist and producer Missy Elliott (Music Innovation Honor); Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx (Entertainment Icon Honor); Grammy Award-winning artist Chance the Rapper (Represent Change Honor); and, actor/dancer and star of “Pose,” Ryan Jamaal Swain (Represent Pride Honor).

Special recognition went to music executive legend Clarence “The Black Godfather” Avant (Represent Opportunity), civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton (Represent Leadership), and Emmy Award-winning actor Billy Porter (Represent Excellence).

Clarence Avant Black Godfather
Clarence Avant Black Godfather (Photo credit: Earl Gibson)

There was a surprise performance by Grammy Award-winning icon Anita Baker, who serenaded Cathy Hughes with “Giving You the Best That I Got” and had Lalah Hathaway, Billy Porter, and Jamie Foxx to join her on stage.

Anita Baker at Urban One Honors
Anita Baker (Photo credit: Earl Gibson)

Actress Corinne Foxx presenting the Entertainment Icon Honor to her father Jamie Foxx, who, during his acceptance speech, remarked that his best role ever is being a father.   Rapper Lil’ Kim’s heartfelt presentation of the Music Innovation Honor, which brought honoree Missy Elliott to tears.   A special musical tribute to the late, two-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, James Ingram, by Ne-Yo, Eric Benét, Chanté Moore, and Al B. Sure!

Neyo at Urban One Honors
Neyo (Photo Credit: Earl Gibson)

Additional performances from Grammy Award-winning R&B superstar Brandy, Grammy-nominated rapper Wale and new artist Jac Ross brought the audience to its feet. Special appearances by Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins, III, veteran radio personality Tom Joyner, entrepreneur and TV personality Ray J, rapper/radio host Da Brat, TV host Egypt Sherrod, comedian George Wallace, and Reach Media/Radio One personalities Russ Parr, Willie Moore, Jr, Dyana Williams, Darlene McCoy, and Little Bacon Bear rounded out the show.

“It is with great humility and gratitude that I acknowledge our sponsors, staff and attendees at our second annual Urban One Honors at the MGM National Harbor. We are totally aware that our 40th anniversary would not be a reality without your love and support,” said Hughes.

Urban One Honors  will premiere on January 20, 2020, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, at 8pm /7C on TV One.


Sarah Hearn
the authorSarah Hearn
Sarah Hearn is Editor-in-Chief of, founded in 2011. The site was recently named among Feedspot's Top Gospel and Christian Music Websites.  Sarah is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gospel Music Association.
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