Urban One announced today its annual awards show, URBAN ONE HONORS, will pay special homage to the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. The critically acclaimed, all-female jazz band of the 1930s included Helen Jones Woods, a founding member and mother of Urban One Founder and Chairwoman, Cathy Hughes. The Sweethearts band, comprised of 17 ethnically diverse members who achieved international accolades despite discrimination, sexism and Jim Crow – to become symbols of success against adversity. URBAN ONE HONORS will air on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on TV One and will be simulcast for the first time on TV One’s sister network, CLEO TV.
The annual awards program will feature three performances dedicated to ‘The Sweethearts.’ Each musical selection will commemorate electrifying performances of the jazz and soul ensemble’s hit singles with a modern twist. The ceremony will also feature with talented, contemporary, female performers including Jazmine Sullivan, Da Brat, Le’Andria Johnson, Avery Sunshine, and the all-female house band Kim Burse and the KB Players.
“I am thrilled to pay homage to the sheroes whose lives depict black excellence, leadership and service. It is also quite humbling to recognize my mother, Helen Jones Woods, and the young musicians who were a part of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, among this year’s honorees,” said Cathy Hughes, Chairwoman, Urban One Inc. “Urban One Honors was created as an extension of our 40-year mission of service. We remain committed to creating programming that fulfills that mission and presents the best of who we are.”
Grammy-Award-winning gospel artist Erica Campbell and award-winning journalist, author, and syndicated columnist Roland Martin will host the event. This year’s theme is ‘Women Leading the Change’ and will highlight the extraordinary contributions of women in business, media, health, politics, and community outreach, who are leading impactful change within the Black community. Now in its third year, Urban One Honors was created to acknowledge and pay homage to individuals and organizations whose work significantly impacts culture and society- at large.
This year’s URBAN ONE HONORS will commemorate the myriad achievements of women leaders who are blazing trails and creating new pathways for others in their respective areas of expertise. Categories of recognition reflect the tireless effort and triumphant accomplishments achieved by the honorees and include:
· Voting Rights Champion dedicated to a fearless leader whose efforts help to build political infrastructure by turning out voters and protecting their votes.
· Business Alchemist presented to a leader tapped for successfully breaking the glass ceiling to blaze new trails in corporate America.
· Investigative Journalism Crusader bestowed upon a media maven who is reframing the national conversation by covering the impediments and contributions made by Black Americans.
· Health Equality Advocate awarded to a champion of health who answered the call to eliminate institutional barriers preventing healthcare to those in her community.
· Reparations Ambassador who is working to break down systemic racism and barriers that have held African Americans back.
· Family Needs Ambassador presented to a resilient provider of direct service and resources to individuals in crisis within the community she serves.
The inspiring night of excellence will also feature exciting musical performances, unprecedented collaborations, and surprise appearances to be announced in the coming months.
URBAN ONE HONORS is executive produced for TV One by Eric Tomosunas and Robert Boyd of Swirl Films and produced by Jazz Smollett. Susan Henry serves as Executive Producer for TV One. Kashon Powell, Vice President of Programming for Radio One, and Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent and Casting. Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production.
About Swirl Films
Swirl Films is one of the leading independent TV & Urban Film Production companies in the country, based out of Atlanta, Georgia, and founded by Eric Tomosunas in 2001. Swirls project slate includes the wildly popular original drama series, Saints & Sinners, and as well as high-quality films and series produced for TV One, BET, Bounce, Lifetime, Hallmark, Reel One, Netflix & Up TV. Swirl Films provides services and content across various areas of production spanning from script to screen, for movies, biopics, scripted series, award shows, and documentaries. Purchased in 2019, Swirl Films owns and operates its own 100,000 square foot film studio in Atlanta.
About Urban One, Inc.
Urban One, Inc. (urban1.com), together with its subsidiaries, is the largest diversified media company that primarily targets African-American and urban consumers in the United States. Urban One is the parent company of Radio One, Reach Media, Inc. (blackamericaweb.com), TV One (tvone.tv), CLEO TV (mycleo.tv), iOne Digital (ionedigital.com), and One Solution. Formerly known as Radio One, Inc., the company was founded in 1980 with a single radio station and now owns and/or operates 60 broadcast stations (including HD and low power television stations) in 14 urban markets in the United States, making it one of the nation’s largest radio broadcasting companies. The Company’s growth led to diversification into syndicated radio programming, cable television, and online digital media. As a result, in 2017, Radio One, Inc. was renamed Urban One, Inc. to better reflect the Company’s multi-media operations. While the Company was renamed Urban One, Radio One remains the brand of the radio division and all of its radio assets. Through Reach Media, Inc., the Company operates nationally syndicated radio programming, including the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, the Russ Parr Morning Show, and the DL Hughley Show. TV One is a national cable television network serving more than 59 million households, offering a broad range of original programming, classic series, and movies designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult Black viewers. Launched in January 2019, CLEO TV is a lifestyle and entertainment cable television network targeting Millennial and Gen X women of color. iOne Digital is a collection of digital platforms providing the African American community with social, news, and entertainment content across numerous branded websites, including Cassius, Bossip, HipHopWired, and MadameNoire branded websites. One Solution provides award-winning, fully integrated advertising solutions across the entire Urban One multi-media platform. Through its national, multi-media operations, the Company and One Solution provides advertisers with a unique and powerful delivery mechanism to African American and urban audiences. Finally, Urban One owns a minority interest in MGM National Harbor, a gaming resort located in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
About TV One
Launched in January 2004, TV One serves 59 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult black viewers. The network represents the best in black culture and entertainment with fan favorite shows Unsung, Uncensored, ATL Homicide, Fatal Attraction and Urban One Honors. In addition, TV One is the cable home of original blockbuster films including When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story, Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story, Bobbi Kristina and The Bobby DeBarge Story. TV One is solely owned by Urban One, Inc., formerly known as Radio One, Inc. [NASDAQ: UONE and UONEK, www.urban1.com], the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences.