The Weeknd will receive the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award at the first annual Music in Action Awards on September 23. The event, at the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood, will be hosted by the Black Music Action Coalition. The organization says that the awards honor 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 Humanitarian Award, given in the name of the great producer, arranger and musician, will be bestowed upon The Weeknd to recognize his charitable endeavors during the pandemic, to the tune of millions of dollars. He has given financial support to Black Lives Matter Global Network, the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative, and National Bail Out. He has also backed Covid-19 relief campaigns for MusiCares and in his hometown of Scarborough, Ontario, as well as relief efforts in Ethiopia and Lebanon, urging others to follow suit.
In June 2020 alone, his work included donating $1 million to MusiCares and Scarborough Health Network, and $500,000 to some of the above nonprofits. “Keep supporting our brothers and sisters out there risking everything to push for actual change for our black lives,” he posted at the time. “Urging everyone with big pockets to give and give big and if you have less please give what you can even if it’s a small amount.”
The Music in Action Awards will also publicize the first annual Music Industry Action Report Card, launched on Juneteenth (June 19) this year to analyze progress within the business towards racial justice and equity. The report holds companies to account over promises made in 2020 to help eliminate racial injustices and inequalities.
“BMAC promised to work with the music industry to advance racial equity, and are proud to have done everything we said we would do,” says BMAC co-chairperson, artist manager and executive Binta Niambi Brown.|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.”
‘Nothing short of inspiring’
Jeffrey Azoff, co-chair of BMAC’s ELC and CEO/founder of Full Stop Management, adds: “The work that BMAC is doing is nothing short of inspiring. I am beyond humbled to be able to serve as co-chair of the Executive Leadership Council as I have no doubt that this group of people is dedicated to making a positive change in our industry for generations to come.”
Adds Ashaunna Ayars, co-founder and vice chair of BMAC and CEO of Ayars Agency: “Music has always been our beacon for hope and inspiration and the backdrop for movements that have changed society. BMAC wants to honor those voices who have been bold enough to lead the charge for social justice and racial equity in the country.”
Shawn Holiday, co-chair of BMAC’s ELC, Full Stop Management and president of Giant Records notes: “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.”