THE RHYTHM & BLUES FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES HONOREES FOR THE 13TH ANNUAL PIONEER AWARDS GALA CELEBRATION SET FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20 IN NEW YORK

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The Rhythm & Blues Foundation has named the honorees for its 13th Annual Pioneer Awards to be held during Grammy Week in New York, Thursday, February 20. The 2003 Awards, to be held at the Manhattan Center, will honor solo artists, vocal groups, songwriters and producers whose work has contributed to the rhythm and blues art form.

THE RHYTHM & BLUES FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES HONOREES FOR THE

13TH ANNUAL PIONEER AWARDS

GALA CELEBRATION SET FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20 IN NEW YORK

NEW YORK, December 3, 2002 – The Rhythm & Blues Foundation has named the honorees for its 13th Annual Pioneer Awards to be held during Grammy Week in New York, Thursday, February 20, it was announced by Cecilia Carter, Executive Director.

The 2003 Awards, to be held at the Manhattan Center, will honor solo artists, vocal groups, songwriters and producers whose work has contributed to the rhythm and blues art form.

*The 2003 Pioneer Award Honorees are:

INDIVIDUAL                        GROUP

Clarence “Frogman” Henry                The Del Vikings

Johnny Nash                        The Supremes

Koko Taylor                        The Dixie Cups

SONGWRITER/SIDE PERSON

George Clinton

Maceo Parker

In addition, the Foundation’s Legacy Tribute will go to Jackie Wilson while Dionne Warwick will be presented with The Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“It’s so exciting and fitting to be holding our annual celebration in New York during Grammy Week,” commented Ms. Carter. “The city is steeped in the R&B tradition, the streets will be overflowing with musicians from all genres and the spirit of our evening will carry forward to Grammy night.”

INDIVIDUAL Award recipients include Clarence “Frogman” Henry, a living New Orleans legend (“Ain’t Got No Home,” “But I Do”); Johnny Nash, a pivotal force behind fusing reggae and R&B (“I Can See Clearly Now,” “Hold Me Tight”); and Koko Taylor, the undisputed Queen of Blues (“Wang Dang Doodle,” “I Got What It Takes”).

GROUP Award nominees include The Del Vikings, a founding force behind doo wop (“Come Go With Me,” “Whispering Bells”); The Supremes, with twelve number one pop singles, the most commercially successful female group of the 1960s (“Baby Love,” “Where Did Our Love Go?”); and The Dixie Cups, the chart-topping 1960s girls group (“Chapel of Love,” “Iko Iko”).

SONGWRITER/SIDE PERSON nominees include George Clinton, the Grandmaster of funk (“Tear The Roof Off Sucker,” “One Nation Under A Grove”), and Maceo Parker, renowned saxophonist and legendary former sideman with James Brown.

The R&B Foundation’s LEGACY TRIBUTE is to the late Jackie Wilson, one of the first R&B vocalists to enjoy success in the early rock and roll era while still regarded as one of the first great soul singers.

The Foundation’s LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD goes to Dionne Warwick, a true international superstar with more than sixty records that have made the charts since 1963’s “Don’t Make Me Over.”

The Rhythm and Blues Foundation is a highly regarded independent non-profit service organization with a worldwide reputation for meeting the needs of former rhythm and blues artists.

In addition to the popular annual Pioneer Awards, The Rhythm & Blues Foundation is a year-round endeavor, administering significant medical and financial assistance endowments.

The Rhythm and Blues Foundation had its beginnings in 1987 during discussions about royalty issues between entertainer Ruth Brown, prominent entertainment attorney Howell Beagle, and the head of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun. Recognizing the needs of the artists who brought the rhythm and blues art form into prominence, Mr. Ertegun provided a $1.5 million donation and the Foundation was born. The Rhythm and Blues Foundation was established in 1988 to promote recognition, financial support, educational outreach and historic and cultural preservation of rhythm and blues music through various grants and programs in support of R&B and Motown artists from the 1940s through the 1970s.

The Foundation’s Annual Pioneer Awards Program has recognized more than 150 legendary artists from the 40s through the 70s, whose lifelong contributions have been instrumental in the development of rhythm and blues music. The Doc Pomus Financial Assistance Program, named in memory of one of the Foundation’s founding directors, provides emergency financial assistance to rhythm and blues artists for health care, musical instruments and funeral expenses. The Foundation also administers The Motown/Universal Music Group Fund (established by Universal Music Group to provide grants for health, welfare and medical purposes in the form of monetary assistance to former rhythm and blues recording artists affiliated with Universal Music Group or affiliated labels) and the Gwendolyn B. Gordy Fuqua Fund (established by Berry Gordy to honor the memory of his sister, who was a talented producer, songwriter, entrepreneur and pioneering music executive with Motown records).

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Paki Newell
The Lippin Group
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