2013-07-06 09.10.57I had the time of my life at the McDonald’s 365Black Awards at Essence Fest 2013. In it’s 10th year, the awards show did not disappoint. African-American trendsetters came together to celebrate the heritage and achievements of those who remain involved in community all year long. They show us that they are more than just stars, more than just athletics, and even more than just teenagers. The awards recognize those whose service to the community goes above and beyond the call of duty.

It was fun and interesting attending the taping and seeing just what goes on during breaks, etc. to keep a show like that on track. We listened to the producer give us direction over a speaker.  We got to laugh with the stars as they had to do one or more takes. And we even got a repeat performance of Angie Stone, Deborah Cox, and Yolanda Adams doing an awesome Gladys Knight tribute due to sound issues.


The 2013 365Black Awards recipients are:

  • Gladys Knight
  • Roland Parrish
  • Dr. Steve Perry
  • Beverly Johnson
  • Kenny Williams
  • Leanna Archer
  • Charles Orgbon III

There were plenty of high profile guests on hand to participate in and celebrate the awards. I was lucky enough to have a press spot on the red (or golden) carpet before the event. Comedian and Actress Kym Whitley hosted the red carpet events.

The awards were hosted by actress Taraji P. Henson. Comedian Jonathan Slocumb got the crowd pumped up and kept us going during breaks. Performing during the show were Jordin Sparks, Yolanda Adams, Angie Stone, Deborah Cox, Estelle, and Erica Campbell. There were a host of stars on hand to present awards. Other stars spotted include Brandy, Letoya Luckett, Tatiana Ali, Omari Hardwick, and a host of others.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the red carpet experience.



The awards show will air on BET on August 25, 2013 at 11pm EST/10pm CST. Check your local listings.