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The Recording Academy/ Grammys Celebrate R&B During Essence With Panel

Photo credit: Sean Griffin

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I recently had an amazing journalism experience as I attended The Recording Academy’s “Where is the Love?” The Future of R&B” panel during Essence Music Festival. I also got a chance to share my AllHipHop article about the current state of R&B with those in attendance. Click HERE to read it.

The Essence Festival celebrated its 20th Anniversary this year from July 3-July 6,2014 in New Orleans! While the night was owned by electrifying performances at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, the day belonged to amazing inspiring and informational events around the city. During Essence Music Festival, The Recording Academy® hosted a super R&B panel entitled “Where is the Love? The Future of R&B” at the Tomas Bistro in New Orleans,LA. Media and music industry professionals gathered to converse about the R&B genre, its legacy, current shifts, what is necessary to keep it alive, as well as to share information about the politics of the music business.

Passion, experience and insight were shared by — Myisha Brooks (VP, Creative Relations & Marketing, Motown Records), Carl Chery (Head of Hip-Hop/R&B Programming at Beats Music), GRAMMY®-nominees Raheem DeVaughn and Tank, and moderator, Ms. Johnnie Walker (Executive Director, Memphis and Shelby Country Music Commission, former Sr. VP of Promotion at Def Jam).

The panel also included discussions on how The Recording Academy could shine light on the R&B genre, R&B on major labels vs indie labels, and the pivotal role of importance the Essence Festival has for fostering and keeping the R&B genre alive.

Tank talked about how R&B has been mixed with other genres, and how R&B doesn’t stand along in today’s world as Hip Hop is always added to get any play. “Every genre has “their own”, but not today’s R&B and we need to reclaim it,” said Tank. The panel even agreed that it’s going to take a collective effort from radio, artists, labels, and the fans to bring R&B back to the forefront!

“Where is the Love? The Future of R&B” was sponsored by ASCAP, the OMBI Group, the Onyx Channel, and Miss Jessie’s hair care products.

We would also like to send a major shout out to NABFEME, Black Pearl Entertainment, Nicole Day, NABFEMESF, Kimberlee Howard, Paula Tensley Jeffrey, and Jeanette Bartholomew!

Check out more photos by photographer Sean Griffin below
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