On Sept. 23, The Weeknd will receive the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award during the first-ever Music in Action Awards, hosted by the Black Music Action Coalition.
The event, set to take place at 1 Hotel in West Hollywood, California, will honor musicians, music executives and music businesses that have made significant contributions to social justice, change and/or equity in the last year. The BMAC will also present the Berry Gordy Social Impact Award, Clarence Avant Trailblazer Award and Agent of Change Award to other honorees.
Within the last year, The Weeknd has given millions of dollars toward several causes, including racial justice. Last June, he donated $200,000 each to both the Black Lives Matter Global Network and the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Legal Defense Camp. The Weeknd also donated $100,000 to the National Bail Out Collective. Last June, the “Blinding Lights” hitmaker gave $500,000 to hospital workers of the Scarborough Health Network in his native Canada amid the pandemic and an additional $500,000 to MusiCares, the philanthropic partner of the Recording Academy. Two months prior in April, The Weeknd announced that he would donate $1 million for hunger relief in his parents’ native Ethiopia.
As part of the Black Lives Matter movement in June last year, The Weeknd called on Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music, Spotify and Apple Music to donate to causes and initiatives supporting the Black community. In a post on Instagram, The Weeknd wrote, “To my fellow respected industry partners and execs- no one profits off of black music more than the labels and streaming services. I gave [back] yesterday and I urge you to go big and public with yours this week. It would mean the world to me and the community if you can join us on this.”
The inaugural Music in Action Awards are also in celebration of BMAC’s first Music Industry Action Report Card, an assessment of the music industry’s progress toward achieving racial justice and equity, which launched on June 19. A year after several companies and executives made promises to work toward eliminating racial injustice and inequalities in the music industry, the Music Industry Action Report Card holds entities accountable for their commitments and assists them in making progress. Music companies including CAA, Apple Music and Pandora are among those that have connected with BMAC.
Binta Niambi Brown (BMAC co-chairperson, artist manager and music executive) said in a statement, “BMAC promised to work with the music industry to advance racial equity, and are proud to have done everything we said we would do. Now, while we celebrate the achievements of our industry, we also look forward to continued work with every company in our industry to eliminate all forms of systemic and structural racism. We welcome conversations with all who share our commitment to justice and equality and are enthusiastic about the change we will create together.”