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PunkFunkRockPop: The Minneapolis Music Collection

Minnesota Black Music Awards

MN Black Music Awards
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On May 12, 1982 the first Twin Cities Minneapolis St. Paul Black Musical Awards were presented at the Prom Center in St. Paul. The printed program announced the reason for the new awards: "So many times achievements are never acknowledged among our people. Yet encouragement is key to inventiveness." For the next 16 years, Minnesota Black Music Awards founders Pete and Kimberly Bedell Rhodes spent thousands of hours nurturing and honoring musicians who played and taught jazz, gospel, R&B, and classical music. Though MBMA began modestly, as the silver award certificate from the first ceremony shows, the Rhode's dream grew over the years. A local newspaper lauded the program as "a crucial showcase for local black performers" because "heavyweight talent scouts" from major record labels attended. Prince won numerous awards from the MBMA and was honored with the organization's first Artist award in 1997.1


    1. Minnesota Black Music Awards program, 1982, copy in MBMA Records, Minnesota Historical Society (MHS), St. Paul; Minneapolis Star and Tribune, September 26, 1986, p. 13C.