Black Music Month & Juneteenth 2022: Industry Celebrations
From full-ride music school scholarships to a first-ever all-Black symphony orchestra performance at the Hollywood Bowl, here are events to mark on your calendar.
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 .
- 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!”
Black Music Honors
Tribeca Film Festival/HARGROVE
The world premiere of HARGROVE, a heartfelt documentary chronicling the last year of legendary jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s life, will be presented at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The film, directed by Eliane Henri, includes interviews with Erykah Badu, Questlove, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper and more.
Madam Walker Legacy Center
The Madam Walker Legacy Center, a National Historic Landmark in Indiana, is celebrating its 95th anniversary with a Legacy Concert at Walker Theatre, headlined by Indianapolis native and music legend Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. Babyface will also be inducted into the Madam Walker Legacy Center Walk of Fame on the same day as well.
What the Funk Festival/Praise God Entertainment
Geno Shelton’s Praise God Entertainment will host the first-ever What the Funk Festival in celebration of Juneteenth. During the Indiana Juneteenth Freedom Music Festival featuring What the Funk Tour, attendees will see performances by Zapp, The Original Lakeside, Average White Band, The Bar-Kays, Klymaxx (featuring Bernadette Cooper), Trouble Funk, Circle City Band and The Ebony Rhythm Funk Campaign. On Sunday, June 19, Soul Music Hall Of Fame inductee Uncle Jamz will host the inaugural What the Funk Summit whose theme is “Everything You Need to Know About the Music, the Music Business and the Music Industry.”
Notes Shelton, aka DJ Geno, “We wanted to unapologetically salute the historical Juneteenth weekend … filled with spectacular performances by iconic groups.”
Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame
Outside of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame’s June 2022 class will be inducted. Among the inductees for the walk — established by the Black American Music Association and the Georgia Entertainment Caucus — are Urban One founder Cathy Hughes, Prince, Nas, Run-D.M.C., Charlie Wilson, Tamela Mann, the Clark Sisters, Steve Harvey, Bob Marley, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff and Duke Ellington.
Hollywood Bowl/JUNETEENTH: A Celebration of Freedom
Composer and musical director Derrick Hodge is at the forefront of JUNETEENTH: A Celebration of Freedom — an all-star concert that will feature an all-Black symphony orchestra performing for the first time in the 100-year history of the iconic Los Angeles venue. Produced in partnership with Live Nation, the lineup includes Earth, Wind & Fire; The Roots; Lucky Daye; Jhené Aiko; Robert Glasper; Killer Mike; Billy Porter; Mary Mary; Anthony Hamilton; Michelle Williams; Mickey Guyton; the Debbie Allen Dance Academy; and more.
The 2022 BET Awards, hosted by Taraji P. Henson, will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Viewers can watch the fun-filled ceremony on BET. With six nods, Doja Cat is the most nominated artist of the event. Fellow artists Ari Lennox and Drake are tied for second most nominated, with four potential wins each.