Honoree Patti LaBelle is all smiles on the Red Carpet Photo by Earl Flippen, Jr.

By Janice Malone

NASHVILLE, TN — Last week the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), kicked off Black Music Month 2017 with a luncheon celebration to honor music legends Patti LaBelle, Kirk Franklin, King of New Jack Swing Teddy Riley and Stax Records music producer David Porter. Actor/comedian David Mann served as host, and music executives Phil Thornton of RCA Inspiration and Catherine Brewton of BMI served as co-chairs. H. Beecher Hicks, president and CEO of National Museum of African American Music. “The luncheon presents an opportunity to pay tribute to musicians who have had an enduring impact on American culture, and what better time to host such an important event than at the start of Black Music Month?”

The luncheon was held to benefit the Museum’s various educational programs. The audience and the honorees also enjoyed tribute performances from artists Tamela Mann, Kelly Price, Dave Hollister, Mannie Fresh, Le’Andria Johnson, Avery Wilson, and Jeremy O’Bryan.

Ms. LaBelle was totally surprised during the Red Carpet event when gospel music great BeBe Winans greeted her with a big hug and a warm hello.