Volume Ventures LLC

It’s been 43 years since former president Jimmy Carter hosted a celebration for Black musicians on the White House lawn on June 7, 1979. Also known as African-American Music Appreciation Month, the celebration was formally recognized as a national, monthlong observance in 2000.

Another observance was added to the month when President Joe Biden — in the wake of protests stemming from the 2020 murder of George Floyd — declared Juneteenth (June 19) a federal holiday in 2021, commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. In salute to both observances, Billboard is spotlighting industry events and activations that will take place throughout June.


YouTube will provide 10 prospective students of the 1500 Sound Academy with full-ride scholarships to attend the Music & Industry Fundamentals Live Online Program (which offers courses in music production, music business, engineering and more) as part of the #YouTubeBlack Music Future Insiders Scholarship program. Applicants can apply online, and enrollment is open through June 24. YouTube will also serve as the exclusive livestream partner of the iconic Roots Picnic music festival on June 4. The event will livestream via The Roots official YouTube channel. Through its #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, which launched in October 2020, the company continues to select international grantees to receive seed funding to develop their YouTube channels, dedicated partner support from YouTube, training and workshops.

YouTube will also launch the following weekly programmed playlist series:

  • Black Music Is the Source: Presents 21st century breakthroughs in pop culture via trendsetting moments that Black music genres such as hip-hop and R&B have garnered.
  • Black Music Is the Sun: Highlights soulful summer songs gracing cookouts across the country.
  • Black Music Is Live: Digs deep into YouTube’s rich catalog of legendary live music performances.
  • Black Music Is Love: Singlehandedly taps into the tender, warm and intimate ways that Black music expresses love.
  • Celebrate Juneteenth: A playlist commemorating the national holiday. Listeners will find the “Black Music Is…” playlist series, along with a collection of others celebrating Black Music Month and Juneteenth, on YouTube Music and youtube.com/music.
  • Lyor Cohen, global head of music at YouTube, said in a statement, “It’s not a coincidence that Black artists have made such an impact on YouTube. From my early years at Def Jam to my current work with YouTube, I’ve had a chance to see and work with the immeasurable genius of Black artistry. Black music is a heartbeat of culture and that’s why YouTube celebrates Black creativity today and everyday.”
  • Tuma Basa, director of Black music and culture at YouTube, added, “Black Music Month may as well be renamed to ‘Range and Depth Month.’ That’s because it’s the time of the year where we get to really celebrate the range of genres and sub-genres that originate from Black culture as well as how deep they’ve penetrated popular music. We’re going in!”


Thanks to its global campaign titled Black Music Month: The Future, Apple Music will highlight 40 artists through a curated list of international rising stars across multiple genres that are creating and influencing new sounds. Apple Music believes each artist will help shape Black music in the years to come. Apple Music’s complete Black Music Month coverage of the selected 40 rising stars, plus featured playlists are available online.