Canadian singer The Weeknd has been named the recipient of the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award during the inaugural Black Music Action Coalition Awards. According to Variety, the ceremony takes place on Sept. 23 at the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood and honors “musicians, music executives, and music businesses that have made the most significant contributions to social justice, change, and/or equity over the preceding year.”
The “Starboy” artist certainly meets the qualifications. Throughout his career, The Weeknd has been an advocate for change and since the COVID-19 pandemic began he has donated millions of dollars to charitable causes. This includes Black Lives Matter Global Network, the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative, and National Bail Out among others. Variety reported, he also supported MusiCares efforts in his hometown of Toronto and causes in Lebanon and the country from which both his parents emigrated, Ethiopia.
“This event will be a powerful night to honor our peers who have done the work to make a difference in our industry and broader society,” said Shawn Holiday, co-chair of BMAC’s ELC, Full Stop Management, and president of Giant Records according to Variety.
The Music Industry Action Report Card will also be highlighted at the ceremony. The 2021 report, standing at 37 pages long, analyzed the industry’s commitment to supporting Black talent. Dozens of organizations and companies were listed and multiple aspects were factored in to determine individual scores.
The BMAC was launched in June 2020 as calls for social justice heightened nationwide with protests for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Founded by a group of 30-plus artist managers, attorneys, business managers, agents, and other industry executives, the group aims to “uphold and actualize the mission of Black Lives Matter in the music industry and reach racial justice not just across labels, publishers, agencies, distributors, and DSP’s but throughout society at large.”
According to the official website, BMAC is a 501c3 & 501c6 nonprofit trade organization and represents the interests of Black artists before the music industry and broader society with a focus on influencing culture on matters of racial justice and equity through policy, philanthropy, and voter education.
“BMAC promised to work with the music industry to advance racial equity, and are proud to have done everything we said we would do,” said Binta Niambi Brown, BMAC Co-Chairperson and music executive, according to Variety. Now, while we celebrate the achievements of our industry, we also look forward to continued work with every company in our industry to eliminate all forms of systemic and structural racism. We welcome conversations with all who share our commitment to justice and equality and are enthusiastic about the change we will create together.“