Both hip-hop and mainstream have separate categories for men and women (the Walk of Fame term describes R&B that is not hip-hop). However, there is only one combined category for men and women for legacy artists, gospel and music and entertainment moguls. (The Legacy Artist Award is for artists who started their careers before 1980. The other categories apply to artists who have been active for at least 25 years.)
There is neither a jazz category nor specific categories for groups or duos. As a result, three groups or duos – OutKast, Run DMC and Public enemy – vie for the male hip-hop prize.
Four of the five artists nominated for Legacy Artists – Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder – became famous on Motown Records. (The fifth artist nominated in this category is Chaka Khan.)
All five nominees in the music and entertainment mogul category are mid-career hip hop artists who are also entrepreneurs. (Neither of them are nominated for hip-hop awards either.) Queen Latifah is the only woman in this category who opposes it Sean Combs, Dr. Dre, Will Smith and Jay-Z.
Jackson is the only deceased artist to be nominated in a category (excluding the two posthumous “founding members”).
Here is a full list of the nominees:
Mainstream man: Charlie Wilson, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Maxwell, Babyface
Mainstream woman: Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Anita Baker
Hip hop man: Nas, OutKast, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, public enemy
Hip hop woman: Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, MC Lyte, Lil ‘Kim and Da Brat
Legacy Artist: Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan
Gospel: The Clark Sisters, Kirk Franklin, BeBe & CeCe Winans, Shirley Caesar, Donald Lawrence
Music and entertainment mogul: Sean Combs, Dr. Dre, Queen Latifah, Will Smith, Jay-Z
The Walk of Fame was initiated by Michael Mauldin and Demmette Guidry, founders of the Black American Music Association, and Georgia State Representative Erica Thomas and Catherine Brewton, founders of the Georgia Entertainment Caucus. Mauldin is a past president of Columbia Records for black music.
The names were announced on Thursday (February 18) at a private reception at The Gathering Spot Atlanta hosted by Kenny Burns of V-103. The four clients plus listed above were among the participants Ludacris, Dallas Austin, gospel artist Isaac Carree, Actors and television personality Miss Lawrence and Chaka Zulu, Spotify directors for artist and talent relations.
The evening included a performance by R&B artist Jac Ross and a surprise performance by Cee Lo Green from “Jesus is love.” Green also shared a new poem inspired by the event called “Knowing the Difference Between Black and Dark”.
Also present was the artist DL Warfield, who, together with the sculptor and historian Ed Dwight, created the “Crown Jewel” emblem, which is embedded on the Walk of Fame for every initiated person.
The Georgia Entertainment Caucus is an Atlanta-based organization focused on bridging the gap between the Georgia political sector and the entertainment industry.