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Grammy Award nominee Kelly Rowland and music industry veteran Sylvia Rhone will be feted during Grammy week at the third annual Essence Black Women in Music event. Featuring an exclusive performance by Rowland and special guest Eve, the Feb. 8 invitation-only event in Los Angeles will also include guest DJ MC Lyte — the first female solo rapper nominated for a Grammy.
Rowland, who first rose to fame as a founding member of history-making girl group Destiny’s Child, is a current Grammy nominee in the best rap/sung collaboration category for “Motivation” featuring Lil Wayne. She was also a judge on the eighth season of the British reality TV talent show The X Factor. Rowland’s “talent, drive and remarkable creative force show what it truly means to be a young powerhouse in an ever-changing industry,” says Essence editor-in-chief Constance C.R. White in a statement.
Rhone most recently served as president of Universal Motown, where she oversaw a roster that included Drake, Nicki Minaj, Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder. She is currently a member of the board of directors of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. “Sylvia Rhone is an iconic driving force in the music industry who has become a trailblazer for African-American women everywhere,” says Essence president Michelle Ebanks.
“To be acknowledged by [Essence] is truly a privilege,” says Rhone in an email to Billboard. “To be honored with Kelly Rowland, for whom I have the utmost respect, will make this a very special evening.”
Previous Essence Black Women in Music events have saluted Janelle Monae and Mary J. Blige. This year’s event is being sponsored by Lincoln and My Black Is Beautiful. Additional details, including venue, will be announced shortly.
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