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Dyana Williams recognized by the White House for her music activism

She engineers media strategies for her celebrity clientele

Dyana Williams is a Sister with Superpowers, a beloved entertainment powerhouse, and authority in Black music. The legendary on-air personality is a trailblazer in broadcasting, music activism, and celebrity media strategy.

She’s been a staple in radio since the ’70s, and has been a frequent commentator on the highly acclaimed TV One music series “Unsung.” She also co-executive produced the Teddy Pendergrass episode of “Unsung,” which garnered an NAACP Image Award that season.

Fondly referred to as “The Mother of Black Music Month,” Williams helped establish June as Black Music Month (with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Kenny Gamble and broadcaster Ed Wright) and was recognized for her music activism in the White House by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Dubbed by the New York Times as “hip-hop’s artist whisperer,” Williams has engineered media strategies for her celebrity clientele who have included multiple Grammy Award winners, platinum-selling performers, executives, actors and athletes. Some notable clients are Rihanna, Jazmine Sullivan, Kirk Franklin, Jack Harlow, Charlie Wilson, and Saweetie.

As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpower(s)?

My God-given superpowers are my ability to influence others with my voice, and knowledge about American culture, especially when it comes to Black music/culture. My compelling ability to disseminate information, illuminate, and inspire others to be their best, be informed, and soar.

What key skills or qualities make you unique as an African American female leader?

Skills or qualities needed to soar are fearlessness, determination to achieve desired outcomes despite setbacks or failures, imagination to dream and actualize, willingness to grow and win, desire to cultivate and mentor others.

What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to stay the course with drive and commitment to achieve all the goals that I established at 18 years young. Remain steadfast and focused and it will all come to fruition. Keep believing and achieving.

Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?

The Black woman whom I constantly thank and admire most in business is my best friend, Cathy Hughes, founder of Urban One. Cathy has helped me to navigate the currents of my overall career with her guidance, insights, and sisterly affection. Cathy is a visionary, courageous, insightful Black woman, who despite obstacles — like being turned down for a bank loan over 30 times to buy her first radio station — has persevered and is still in business over 45 years later, with a broadcasting empire, that includes numerous radio stations, the TV One network, and other media-related enterprises.  

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