The Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame recently announced their official class for their 2023 induction ceremony.
The founder of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame, politician Alicia Reece, announced that musicians Babyface, The Deele, L.A. Reid, Louis Shropshire, James Brown and Philippe Wynne will be honored and included on the Walk of Fame for this year. Over 60 artists and music industry figures will also be recognized as “Top Music Influencers” for their contributions.
The artists will be officially recognized at the grand opening scheduled to be held on July 22 at the Hard Rock Casino in Ohio city. In celebration of the opening, interactive kiosks and jam sessions will be available. A free concert featuring a performance by the Ohio Players will also be available.
“We are making history this year with the grand opening of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame,” said Reece in a statement per VIBE magazine. “This new state-of-the-art interactive tourism attraction celebrating the rich culture of Black musical artists, producers, and songwriters will educate, entertain and attract tourists worldwide while bringing together multi-generations of families to enjoy at this free park.”
Founded in 2021 by Hamilton County in Ohio, the Cincinnati Black Music Hall of Fame celebrates music and achievements by people in the music industry that have roots in the country or Southeastern Ohio in general. The interactive walk will allow visitors to learn about the inductees and their careers by scanning a QR code with their phones at the available kiosks throughout their tour. Gold stars dedicated to each artist will be available for tourists to see as well.
First, having debuted at The Andrew J. Brady Music Center at the Banks in Cincinnati during the summer of 2022, a total of eight musicians have been included in the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame. In 2021, the founding members included funk legend Bootsy Collins, Motown legend and member of The Temptations, Otis Williams; gospel artist Dr. Charles Fold and the Motown trio, The Isley Brothers.
For 2022, the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame board inducted R&B and soul band Midnight Star, the first and official lead singer for SNAP!, Penny Ford; rapper Hi-Tek and jazz guitarist Wilbert Longmire.
“I think their stories can be inspiring to an artist that says, ‘I don’t know if I should keep going on,’” said Reece per the newspaper The Cincinnati Herald. “You can come down here and see their story of when they were about to give up, but didn’t, and it gives them the encouragement to keep going.”