There was an elevated sense of brotherhood and camaraderie at the annual Urban One Honors as the show’s creators paid homage to the world of rap as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The 2023 iteration of the Urban One Honors, quite appropriately, bestowed special recognition on legendary emcee LL Cool J, one of the few rappers in the annals of the genre to have hit songs in three different decades since his beginning in the 1980s.
Before the constellation of regal stars lit up the stage, a cavalcade of luminaries marched down the red carpet in their finest attire.
Hosted by R&B crooner Tank along with songstress LeToya Luckett, who served as the special backstage host, there were other icons of music and politics who were given their ceremonial flowers on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Bobby Brown received the Phoenix Award; Pharrell Williams, earned the Music Innovation Award; gospel greats David & Tamela Mann were honored with the Inspirational Impact Award, and California Congresswoman Maxine Waters was championed with the Lifetime Achievement award.
The televised Urban One Honors gala annually heralds the accomplishments of individuals who have made extraordinary contributions in entertainment, media, music, politics, education, and the community.
Other stars who graced the stage on this night included gospel singer Marvin Sapp, rappers Monie Love and Doug E. Fresh, actor Laman Rucker, music bosses T.I. and Pusha T, former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Rev. Run.