Universal Music Group president Sylvia Rhone is set to be honored next month for her decades of pioneering work in African-American music.
Organized by the non-profit Black Women in Entertainment Law (BWEL) foundation, the October 1 event will double as fundraiser for scholarship initiatives directed at empowering young women seeking to aspire to executive positions in entertainment.
The ceremony will bestow Rhone with the Excellence in Business Award for breaking down many barriers for women of color in the industry.
Confirmed guests for the event include Queen Latifah, Sean Diddy Q-Tip, Russell Simmons, Naomi Campbell, and Missy Elliott with more to be announced.
Rhone began her career in 1974 with Buddha Records (originally spelled Buddah), notable for housing Gladys Knight and the Pips, Barbara Mason and others.
She advanced to senior vice president of Atlantic Records by 1988, continuing to expand each record company she worked with.
Rhone went on to become the first African-American woman to helm a major record company when she took over Eastwest Record in 1990, former home to En Vogue, MC Lyte, Gerald Levert, De Lench Mob, and Das Efx.
In 1994, she merged her organization with Elektra Records, taking on a diverse catalogue of artists including Metallica, Yolanda Adams, Missy Elliott, and Fabolous.
Rhone held that CEO position until 2004; when she moved on to accept her current position as president of Universal Motown Records, now overseeing music from Lil Wayne, Erykah Badu, Damian Marley, Kem, India Arie and now the labels most recent signing – Busta Rhymes.
The award ceremony will start at 7 PM at The Talavera Gallery, located on 145 Avenue of the Americas in New York, NY.
For more information, visit www.bwelfoundation.org.