A stunning array of legendary artists, A-list celebrities, dignitaries and major business leaders dominated the 10th annual McDonald’s 365Black Awards at the New Orleans Theater inside the mammoth Earnest N. Morial Convention Center during the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.
“Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight, supermodel Beverly Johnson, education connoisseur and leader Dr. Steve Perry, Chicago White Sox exec VP Kenny Williams, McDonald’s owner Roland Parrish, teen entrepreneur Leanna Archer and youth environmentalist Charles Orgbon were bestowed homage and honors at the McDonald’s 365Black Awards, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year-round.
Taraji P. Henson hosted the electric soiree and artists such as Brandy, LaToya Luckett, Angie Stone, Jordin Sparks, Omari Hardwick, Yolanda Adams and Jay Ellis finished helped present the awards to the recipients. Comedienne Kim Whitley took charge of the “golden” carpet and comedian Johnathan Slocumb set the show on fire with his dead-on comedic wit.
“It is an honor to be recognized alongside these remarkable individuals,” said singer and philanthropist Gladys Knight. “By lending a hand to others, we can all help create environments of strength and compassion that enrich our neighborhoods, regardless of who we are or where we live.”
Fans can check out the celebration by watching the McDonald’s 365Black Awards broadcast on BET on Sunday, August 25, at 10 p.m. Central.
“We applaud this year’s honorees for their tireless dedication to serving others. Truly, the contributions of these individuals are integral to strengthening communities on the whole,” said Rob Jackson, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director. “From McDonald’s owner/operators to global superstars, past and present 365Black Awards recipients prove that benevolent work yields positive results.”