Swizz Beatz to Receive ASCAP Voice of the Culture Award

Swizz Beatz is a voice of the future

The 42-year-old half Puerto Rican recording artist, music producer and entrepreneur will receive the ASCAP Voice of the Culture award alongside Timbaland and D-Nice to kick off the 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards on June 22.

Swizz Beatz

Following the presentation, the music creators will take part in a 2021 ASCAP Experience conversation, “Voices of the Culture: How Swizz Beatz, Timbaland & D-Nice United the World Through Music,” at 12:00 pm ET/ 9:00 am PT.

The virtual conversation will explore how Timbaland and Swizz Beatz’s virtual music battle series Verzuz and D-Nice’s Club Quarantine became tools for uplift within the Black music community and touchstones of empowerment during the pandemic.

To join the conversation, participants can RSVP at www.ascapexperience.com/schedule. They can also submit a question for the three creators before June 10.

Verzuz has featured such epic matchups as Gladys Knight vs. Patti LaBelle, Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott, Earth, Wind & Fire vs. The Isley Brothers, and Snoop Dogg vs. DMX.

Club Quarantine attracted a virtual community of millions to Instagram Live for sets of funk, disco, hip-hop and R&B.

In addition to launching these popular events, Swizz Beatz, Timbaland and D-Nice are accomplished music creators in their own right.

Grammy-winning songwriter-producer Swizz Beatz has been in the music and business worlds since he was 16. He began DJing and working at his uncle’s company, Ruff Ryders Entertainment, while still in high school. Within a short time, Swizz produced the company’s first hit, by DMX. More success followed as a producer and artist. As a producer, Swizz has worked with a diverse array of artists, including Jay-Z, Madonna, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Metallica.

The 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards is a virtual celebration that takes place on social media from June 22-24. The event recognizes songwriters, composers and publishers behind the most performed R&B/hip-hop, rap and gospel songs of the past year. Friends and fans can join the online festivities as ASCAP shares photos, videos, acceptance speeches and more from some of its top songwriters and publishers, posted with the hashtag #ASCAPAwards to @ASCAPUrban on Instagram and @ASCAP on Twitter and Instagram.

The ASCAP Experience takes place twice a month on Wednesdays through the end of 2021. Songwriters, composers and music business professionals can join the ASCAP Experience community for access to conversations with songwriters and producers from across the musical spectrum, plus panels with top industry executives, song feedback, networking opportunities and more. The virtual sessions are free to attend and take place on a variety of platforms, including YouTube, Instagram and on the ASCAP Experience website.

Bruno Mars to Headline This Year’s Essence Festival of Culture

Bruno Mars is sharing his essence in a big way…

The 34-year-old part-Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has been named one of the main stage headliners for the Essence Festival of Culture.

Bruno Mars

Mars will co-headline the event with Janet Jacksonas Essence celebrates its 50th anniversary. 

Mars’ appearance will be his first time performing at the festival — and his only 2020 U.S. festival performance.

Essence Festival of Culture will expand for the first time from three to five days (July 1-5) in New Orleans, marking one day for each decade. This year’s theme is “Own Our Power.”

Jackson will be making her third appearance at the festival. Her appearance will take place during her newly announced Black Diamond World Tour, titled after her upcoming 12th studio album.

In addition to Jackson and Mars, the festival’s three-night concert series will include the following lineups at the Louisiana Superdome:

Main stage: Ari Lennox, Janelle MonaePatti LaBelleRaphael Saadiq (performing songs across his entire career from Tony! Toni! Tone! through his solo albums, including Jimmy Lee), Estelle Presents Reggae & Afrobeats Link Up featuring Afro BChronnixElephant ManKraniumMax GlazerMaxi PriestShenseeaand more, Summer Walker,  Swizz BeatzPresents In the Zone featuring guest artists. 

Hosted by Loni Love with music by D-Nice, the main stage lineup will salute music icons each night, including a special anniversary celebration on July 4. 

Superlounges: Casmé, D SmokeDemi GraceDoug E. Fresh Presents The Real Hip-Hop and R&B Party, Elah HaleGoldlinkJac RossJamesdavisJidennaJune’s DiaryKiana LedeKitty CashLeikeli47MasegoMr EaziOswin BenjaminRapsodySaweetieSiRSminoStokleyTamiaTank and the BangasTeaMarrrThe New Respects and Umi.

 “This is a milestone year for Essence and our community as we celebrate 50 years of creating opportunities for our culture to shine and the role of black women in making it possible for us to do what no other brand has done,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence Communications, Inc.“To be able to say that at 50 years, we are black-owned, diversified across media, technology, commerce and live events, and impacting our culture in new and even deeper ways than ever before is a blessing – and one that comes with a tremendous responsibility to our community to continue to evolve, innovate and transform. That remains our focus and commitment as we work to ensure that we are here serving black women deeply and advancing black culture, economic ownership and inclusion globally for the next 50 years.”

Regarding Mars and Jackson, Ebanks added, “These two powerhouses, along with our robust slate of programming, performances and tributes, will continue our legacy of cultural excellence and dynamic, only-at-Essence experiences that excite, elevate and inspire.”

For more information, visit Essence.com/festival.