Alicia Keys to Receive Inaugural ICE Medal of Honor

The Black American Music Association has announced the honorees for its inaugural ICE (Imperial Crown of Excellence) Medal of Honor ceremony. The event is set to take place on Sunday, October 15, at Morehouse College’s Ray Charles Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Renowned singer, songwriter, and producer Alicia Keys will be presented with the Ella Fitzgerald Gold Standard Award. The Black American Music Association acknowledges Keys for her “profound impact on various genres, including R&B, soul, hip-hop, and pop.” They commend her “unparalleled ability to create captivating melodies” and her talent as a pianist and songwriter, which allows her to convey “depth, introspection, and empowering messages.”

This new award will join Keys’ already impressive collection, including 15 Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 9 Billboard Music Awards, and 7 BET Awards.

Iconic songwriting and production duo Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis will be honored with the Creative Impact Award. The five-time Grammy winners have worked with numerous artists, including Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Usher, and Mary J. Blige, among others.

In tribute to the King of Pop, a special Michael Jackson ICON Award will be introduced.

Additional honorees include DJ Grandmaster Flash (Transformative Award); philanthropist Robert F. Smith (Ray Charles/Harry Belafonte Patron of Arts Award); Suzanne de Passe, Motown Productions’ first Black woman president (Trailblazer Award); and Jeffrey Harleston of Universal Music Group (Pace/Harrell Executive Leadership Award).

Michael Mauldin, co-founder of the Black American Music Association, expressed excitement about launching the ICE Medal of Honor and recognizing these outstanding individuals who have left an enduring mark on the world through their art and creativity. He described the celebration as a testament to the influence of Black American music in shaping culture and inspiring generations.

Black American Music Association ice
Black American Music Association

Jermaine Dupri serves as a co-executive producer of the ICE Medal of Honor event, alongside Mauldin, Demmette Guidry, and Derrick Williams. Dupri, who was recently honored by the Otis Redding Foundation with the Otis & Zelma Redding Award of Respect, is gearing up to host the So So Def Festival on October 7 and 8 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Alicia Keys, fresh from concluding her Keys to the Summer Tour, is preparing for the debut of her new musical, “Hell’s Kitchen.” The coming-of-age musical will run at the Newman Theater in The Public in New York City from October 24 to December 10, officially opening on November 19 as part of the 2023-2024 season.