The vast majority of the following information was found in the files of the Minnesota Historical Society.  It is incomplete, however, and if you have any additions or corrections – or photos of the ceremonies or your award! – please contact me.

“The Minnesota Black Music Association (MBMA) was founded in 1981 by Pete Rhodes and Kimberly Bedell, owners of ABC Radio affiliate WRNB, “The Touch FM.”  The original purpose of the program was to showcase the myriad of musical talent in Minnesota’s Black music community and allow for musician recognition among peers.  During the first few years, MBMA rapidly grew both in success and popularity.  Music professionals across the nation soon began to attend the program,  broadening not only its appeal, but its scope.

“It was determined that African American artists needed not only to be recognized, but to be given the opportunity to both teach and be taught.  There existed a wealth of information in the music community to be shared, and this information became more and more useful as African Americans became more of a force in the industry.  Black music genres are among the top selling music in the world, surpassing billions in revenue annually.  To address this rapidly-growing phenomenon, MBMA developed into the Minnesota Black Music Expo, to further promote Minnesota Black music while making a commitment to the issues facing the artist and music community.”


1982 THE TWIN CITIES MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL BLACK MUSICAL AWARDS

DATE:  May 12, 1982

PLACE:  Prom Center, St. Paul

HOSTS:  Thornton Jones, Olivia Ramey

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Sam Davis and the Gospel Ensemble
  • Sangoya
  • Sue Ann Carwell with Enterprise Band
  • Jerry Hubbard
  • Irv Williams
  • Roberta Davis
  • Jay Young
  • Percy Hughes
  • Reginald Buckner
  • Dale Alexander
  • Linda Parker
  • Frank Wharton
  • Nita Cunningham
  • Diana Washington
  • C. Edward Thomas
  • Jazzmen Duo
  • Black Flute Society
  • Style

1982 AWARDS

Classical:

  • Mrs. Elsie Lyle
  • Mrs. Lorraine Martin
  • Mr. O’Neil Sanford
  • Dr. Geneva Southall
  • Mrs. Velma Warden
  • Dr. William Jones
  • Ms. Nita Cunningham
  • Mr. Frank Wharton
  • Mr. C. Edward Thomas
  • Ms. Linda Parker
  • Ms. Diana Washington

Reggae:

  • Shangoya
  • Sweet Taste of Afrika

Gospel:

  • Minnesota Gospel Workshop
  • North Central Baptist Church Angelic Chorus
  • Mrs. Vera J. Jenkins
  • J.D. Steele Singers
  • Gospel Choirs United
  • Macedonia Mass Choir
  • Pilgrims Ranch Majestic Choir
  • State Youth Choir
  • Church of the Air
  • Sounds of Blackness
  • Sam Davis and the Gospel Ensemble

Jazz:

  • Morris Wilson
  • Oiver Rhodes
  • Eric Gravatt
  • Mel Carter
  • Shirley Witherspoon
  • Samel Bivens
  • James Hamilton
  • Gene Adams
  • Bobby Lyle
  • Irv Williams
  • Jay Young
  • Percy Hughes
  • Jerry Hubbard
  • Dr. Reginald Buckner
  • Roberta Davis
  • African American Cultural Center Ensemble

Rhythm & Blues:

  • Cynthia Johnson
  • Prince Nelson
  • The Time
  • Fantasy Band
  • Rockie Robbins
  • Pierre Lewis & The Lewis Connection
  • Jimmy Lawrence
  • Donald Thomas
  • Sue Ann Cadwell
  • Enterprise Band
  • Power
  • Style Band

 


1983 TWIN CITIES BLACK MUSICAL AWARDS

DATE:  June 29, 1983

PLACE:  Prom Center, St. Paul

PRODUCERS: Pete Rhodes & Associates Entertainment Co.

HOSTS:  Al McFarlane, Antoinette Simmons, Olivia Ramey


ENTERTAINMENT

  • Black National Anthem by Kennedy Barber
  • Sounds of Blackness
  • J.D. Steele Singers
  • Morris Wilson & Co.
  • Brinkz
  • Steel Pan Ensemble
  • C. Edward Thomas
  • Alexander O’Neal
  • The Gentlemen

1983 AWARDS

Gospel:

  • Spirit
  • Robert Robinson Singers
  • Bill Perry
  • Vera Jenkins
  • Gospel Workshop of America
  • Louis Boney and the Remnant Singers
  • J.D. Steele
  • Fred Steele
  • Ginger Commodore
  • Jearlyn Steele Battle
  • Prophets of Peace

Jazz:

  • Doris Hines
  • Duffy Goodlow
  • Rufus Webster
  • Reginald Buckner
  • Percy Hughes
  • Nettie Sherman
  • Richard Greenwood
  • Steve Faison
  • Morris Wilson
  • Dale Alexander
  • Roberta Davis
  • Jay Young
  • Corky Roberts

Reggae:

  • Clifford Alexis
  • Macumba
  • Peter Nelson
  • Chicco Fatfinger
  • Wain McFarlane
  • Cheryl Davidson
  • Linda Lawson
  • Van Nixon
  • Bongo Pringle

Classical:

  • Geneva Southall
  • Larry Griffin
  • Black Flute Society
  • C. Edward Thomas

Rock & Roll:

  • Dez Dickerson
  • Garrison White
  • Joey Juliano

Rhythm & Blues:

  • Terry Lewis
  • Jimmy Harris
  • Bill Lucas
  • The Time
  • Andre Cymone
  • Alexander O’Neal
  • Bruce Henry
  • Bittersweet
  • Myst
  • Paul Johnson
  • Bobby Brown
  • Pierre Lewis
  • Walter Smith
  • Hubert Eaves
  • Mojo Buford
  • Sonny Thompson
  • David Eiland

Special Recognition:

  • KMOJ
  • Randy Royals
  • African American Cultural Center
  • Metropolitan Cultural Center
  • Inner City Youth League
  • P.J. Clarks
  • Sounds of Blackness

1984 BLACK MUSIC AWARDS

DATE:  June 8, 1984

PLACE:  Prom Center Ballroom, St. Paul

PRODUCERS: Pete Rhodes & Associates

HOSTS: Tony Saffold, Norma J. Williams, J.D. Steele

blackmusicawards1984-2

From the Minneapolis Spokesman, courtesy Michaelangelo Matos.

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Black National Anthem:  Sylvia B. Little
  • BMA Tribute:  Jimmy Hamilton, Corky Roberts, Dance by Kimberlee Allen
  • BMA Salute to Michael Jackson:  Lester Wiley
  • Roots, Spirit of Our Music:  Compas Trinidad Steel Drum Band
  • Shirley Witherspoon
  • Spirit
  • Minnesota Saxophone Quartet
  • Samoa
  • Ipso Facto
  • Mojo Buford
  • The Girls
  • Morris Wilson and Moxie
  • Rockie Robbins
  • Mazarati

1984 AWARDS

Gospel:

  • Eddie Robinson & the E.R. Singers (MVP)
  • Marie Graham
  • Greg Foster
  • Gospel Choirs United
  • State Youth Choir, Church of God in Christ
  • Willie Hale, Zion Senior Choir – Special Recognition
  • Sanford Moore
  • Tom West

Classical:

  • Robin Berry (MVP)
  • Holly Berry
  • Judy Henderson
  • William H. Curry
  • Lloyd Winfield
  • Virginia Russell
  • Cheryl Warder
  • Margret La Fluer
  • Kevilin McKinney
  • Taszha Buckner

Jazz:

  • Jimmy Bowman
  • Shirley Witherspoon (MVP)
  • Irv Williams – Special Recognition
  • Tony Moreno – Special Recognition
  • Roberta Davis – Special Recognition
  • Jose James
  • Dean Brewington
  • Jimmy Hamilton
  • Corky Roberts & Giants of Jazz
  • Danny McGee
  • Steve Faison
  • Dale Alexander
  • Jay Young
  • David Wright III

Third World Music:

  • Compas Trinidad Steel Drum Band
  • Clifford Alexis – Special Recognition
  • Peter Nelson/Shangoya (MVP)
  • Ipso Facto
  • Lloyd Corkner, Jr.

Contemporary Urban Music:

  • Al Emory
  • J.D. Steele
  • Sonny Williams/Main Event
  • David Eiland
  • Morris Day
  • Andre Cymone
  • Ricky Washington
  • Howard Merryweather
  • Hubert Eaves
  • Prince (MVP)
  • Maurice Jacox
  • Herman Jones
  • Alexander O’Neal
  • John Rivers
  • Mark Brown
  • Jesse Johnson
  • Bound Band
  • Moxie
  • The Girls
  • Tim Bradley
  • Gary “Jelly Bean” Johnson

Blues:

  • Percy Struthers
  • Milwaukee Slim
  • Walter Smith
  • Mojo Buford
  • Baby Doo Caston

Citizens Special Recognition:  Awarded to Individuals, Groups, or Companies involved primarily in promoting continued involvement of Twin Cities Black Musicians and Black Music with music here and abroad.

  • KMOJ
  • Owen Husney
  • P.J. Clark
  • Bill Foley
  • Sounds of Blackness
  • Morris Wilson
  • KFAI

Most Valuable Performers of the Year:  Jimmy “Jam” Harris and Terry Lewis

blackmusicawards1984

Photo from the Minneapolis Spokesman, courtesy Michaelangelo Matos.

 


1985 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSICIANS AWARDS

DATE:  September 26, 1985

PLACE:  Carlton Celebrity Theater, Bloomington

PRODUCERS: Pete Rhodes & Associates

HOST:  Donnie Simpson

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Bromar
  • Giorgio
  • Excelsior Choral Ensemble
  • Shirley Witherspoon
  • The Girls
  • Comedian Steve Powell
  • Mojo Buford
  • Ipso Facto
  • Bobby Lyle & Hubert Eaves
  • Purple Rain Dancers
  • Jesse Johnson’s Revue

1985 AWARDS

Special Recognition:

  • Flyte Time Productions
  • Jerome Benton
  • Creation Studio, Steve Weise
  • Sylvia’s on Cedar
  • Spike Moss
  • Sonny Thompson

Gospel:

  • Roland Wilson
  • New Hope Adult Choir
  • Herbie George (S.R.)
  • Minnesota Chapter G.M.W.P. (MVP)

Contemporary Urban Music:

  • Troy Williams
  • Bromar
  • Daryl Budreau
  • Alexander O’Neal
  • Andre Cymone
  • Constina Jackson
  • Jesse Johnson (MVP)

Jazz:

  • Shirley Witherspoon (MVP)
  • Anthony Cox
  • Bill Hobbs
  • Sam Bivens/Superband

1985 MBMA Most Valuable Performer:  Prince

Classical:

  • BMETC Black Music Educators of the Twin Cities
  • Claire Carter (MVP)

Blues:

  • Baby Doo Caston (MVP)
  • Mojo Buford

Third World Music:

  • Shangoya
  • Ipso Facto (MVP)
  • Tony Paul
  • Wain McFarlaine

 


1986 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSICIANS AWARDS

DATE:  September 25, 1986

PLACE:  Carlton Celebrity Room, Bloomington

PRODUCERS: Pete Rhodes & Associates, CBLS93 Cable FM, & Knut Koupee Music Stores

HOST:  Donnie Simpson

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Eddie Robinson & Friends
  • Dorris Hines
  • Gene Adams
  • Morris Wilson
  • Ron Brown
  • Joe Young
  • Gary Hines
  • I.R.M. Crew
  • Mint Condition
  • Germaine Brooks
  • Exotic Storm
  • Ipso Facto
  • Cherrelle
  • The Jets
  • Split Level

1986 AWARDS

Gospel:  Eddie Robinson & Friends

Blues:  Big Walter Smith

Jazz:  Corky Roberts

Special Recognition – Music Educator:  Gene Adams

Special Recognition – Music Video:  Dawn Ren’e Jones

Special Recognition – Radio Broadcast:  KMOJ

Special Recognition – Club D.J.:  D.J. Cowboy

Classical:  Yvonne Cheeks, Judy Henderson

World Beat:  Ipso Facto

Rock:  Mazarati

Urban/R&B (national):  Alexander O’Neal

Urban/R&B (local):  Westside

Hall of Fame I:  Flyte Time Productions

Hall of Fame II: The Time:

  • Jimmy “Jam” Harris
  • Terry Lewis
  • Jerome Benton
  • Monte Moir
  • Jesse Johnson
  • Gary “Jellybean” Johnson
  • Morris Day

MBMA Ambassador Award:  Prince

MBMA Artist of the Year:  Jimmy Harris & Terry Lewis

 


1987 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSICIAN AWARDS

DATE:  October 2, 1987

PLACE:  St. Paul Civic Center, Roy Wilkins Auditorium

PRODUCERS: Pete Rhodes & Kimberly Bedell

HOST:  Jerome Benton

ENTERTAINMENT

International attention was focused on Minnesota in 1987 at the 6th Annual MBMA for the reunion performance of the 1980s supergroup the Time.  A PBS documentary on Minneapolis sound featured the MBMA as well as the artists who performed at this historic event.

AWARD CATEGORIES

Special Recognition, Youth

Black Radio

Club D.J.

Black Music Video

Manager

Sound Engineer

Music Educator

Jazz

Gospel

Classical

Blues

Urban R&B – Local

MBMA Hall of Fame

Urban R&B – National

MBMA Artist of the Year

 


1988 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSICIAN AND ARTIST AWARDS

DATE:  October 1, 1988

PLACE:  Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

PRODUCERS:  Pete Rhodes & Associates and CBLS Cable Music Network

HOSTS: Rockie Robbins, Rolanda Taylor

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Sounds of Blackness
  • Moore by Four
  • Willie Walker
  • Debbie Duncan, Gwen Matthews, Bruce Henry – Ruperts Trio
  • Tyka Nelson
  • Alexander O’Neal
  • Kennedy Barber – Minneapolis Star Search Winner
  • Sue Ann
  • Jesse Johnson
  • Da’ Krash

 

1988 AWARD CATEGORIES

Classical

World Beat

Jazz

R&B Local

R&B National

Blues

Gospel

Special Recognition – Video

Special Recognition – Educator

Special Recognition – New Band/Artist

Special Recognition – Producer

Special Recognition – Engineer

Special Recognition – Youth

Hall of Fame

Outstanding Artist ’88 (Local/National)

Artistic Awards:

  • Theater
  • Dance
  • Acting
  • Comedy
  • Playwrite
  • Visual Art

 


1989 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSICIAN AND ARTIST AWARDS

DATE:  September 23, 1989

PLACE:  Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis

PRODUCERS: Pete Rhodes & Associates

HOSTS:  J.D. Steele, Amy Powell

Dedicated to the Memory of Dr. Reginald Buckner

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Sounds of Blackness Orchestra
  • Peachtree Band
  • Bellfrey Bros.
  • Ice Blue Band
  • Constina
  • Debra Laws & Lipps Inc.
  • Bobby Lyle
  • The Steeles

 

1989 AWARDS

Classical:  Manny Laurano

R&B Local:  LaSalle Gabriel

R&B National:  Brown Mark, Alexander O’Neal, Constina

New Band:  Mint Condition, Riche’ Band

Rap:  Style Posse

World Beat:  Kairos

Blues:  Sonny Rogers

Jazz:  Bruce Henry, Debbie Duncan, Gwen Matthews

Gospel:  MGS

Label:  Warner Bros.

Special Recognition Educator:  Sam Favors

Special Recognition Radio:  KBEM

Special Recognition Producer:  Andre Cymone

Special Recognition D.J.:  Spider J. Hamilton

Special Recognition Youth:  Umoja

Special Recognition Songwriter:  Jimmy “Jam” Harris, Terry Lewis, Bobby & Jerry Marsh

Hall of Fame:  John Nelson, Ira Pettiford, Dr. Reginald Buckner, Doris Hines

Outstanding Artist:  Bobby Lyle, Jevetta Steele

Theater:  Capri

Dance: David Gray

Acting:  Marvette Knight

Comedy:  Nothando Zulu (Aunt Dicey)

Playwrite/Literary:  Marion McClinton

Visual Arts:  Seitu Jones


1990 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSICIANS & ARTISTS AWARDS

DATE:  October 6, 1990

PLACE:  Orpheum Theater, Minneapolis

PRODUCERS: Pete Rhodes & Associates

HOSTS:  Vesta Williams, Rockie Robbins, Doug Banks

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Gospel Allstars
  • Sounds of Blackness
  • Jazz Allstars
  • Will Downing
  • Rap Allstars
  • Rockie Robbins with Sounds of Blackness Orchestra
  • Vesta Williams
  • R&B Alllstars

1990 AWARDS

R&B Local:  Mallia Franklin, Mambo’s Combo & Howard Bivens

R&B National:  The Jets, Tony Christian, Marv Gunn, Michael Bland & Miko Weaver

New Band:  Kool Skool

Rap:  Derrick Stevens & T.C. Ellis

World Beat:  Inertia

Blues:  Lady Blue & Milwaukee Slim

Jazz:  Paul Cotton

Gospel:  Dr. Nathan Wilson & Golden Swans

Label Award:  A&M Records

Special Recognition Educator:  Roberta Davis

Special Recognition Radio:  KMOJ

Special Recognition DJ:  Bill Smith & Chaz Dillon

Special Recognition Youth:  Excelsior Chorale Ensemble

Special Recognition Songwriter:  Lydia Marie

Special Recognition Industry:  Kevin Fleming

Penumbra Theater

Acting:  Abdul Salaam El Razzac

Comedy:  Rico March

Visual Arts:  Katanah Day

10 Year Achievement Award:

  • Prince
  • Mont’e Moir
  • Gary Johnson
  • Jesse Johnson
  • Terry Lewis
  • Jimmy “Jam” Harris
  • Jerome Benton
  • Morris Day

1991 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSIC AWARDS

DATE:  October 4, 1991

PLACE:  Mariott City Center Hotel, Minneapolis

PRODUCERS: Pete Rhodes & Associates

HOSTS:  Jevetta Steele & Tony Saffold

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Minnesota Gospel Sounds
  • Cynthia Johnson
  • Yours Truly
  • Nicki Richards
  • Jimmy McGriff Quartet
  • George Howard

1991 AWARDS

R&B:  Johnny Gill

Blues:  Shirley Brown

Rap:  Queen Latifah

Jazz:  George Howard

Gospel:  Rance Allen Group

Outstanding Achievement:  Sounds of Blackness

Label of the Year:  Motown Records

Music Trad Publication:  Mellow Yellow

Producer/Manager:  Maurice Starr

Songwriter:  Gary Hines

Air Personality:  Walter Banks

Hall of Fame:  Jimmy McGriff

 


1992


1993 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSIC AWARDS

DATE:  September 4, 1993

PLACE:  Hyatt Regency Hotel, Minneapolis

HOSTS:

  • Marsha Warfield
  • Bowlegged Lou
  • Paul Anthony

 

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Portfolio I Dance Troupe
  • Jevetta Steele
  • Foursure
  • Intro
  • Rodney Mansfield
  • Lo-Key?

 

Black Labels Vanguard Award Recipients:

  • Motown
  • Perspecctive
  • Uptown
  • Def Jam/RAL
  • LAFACE
  • MCA

1994 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSIC AWARDS

DATE:  September 2, 1994

PLACE:  Hyatt Regency Hotel, Minneapolis

HOSTS:  Howard Hewitt & Lisa Collins

Jerry Boulding Salute

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Dr. Jerry Winston & HouseCall
  • New Salem Mass Choir
  • Excelsior Chorale Ensemble
  • MGS
  • Robert Robinson
  • Jevetta Steele
  • Robert Robinson
  • Minneapolis Drum Center
  • Sounds of Blackness

AWARDS

1994 MBMA/Pepsi Cola Achievers Award:  Gary Hines and The Sounds of Blackness


1995 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSIC AWARDS

DATE:  September 1, 1995

PLACE:  Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis

HOSTS:

  • Gary Hines from the Sounds of Blackness
  • Kathleen Bradley from The Price is Right

 

“A Salute to Paisley Park Enterprises & Twin Cities Black Music Educators”

ENTERTAINMENT

  • TKO Band
  • Melonie & Daphne Jackson
  • Sunset Band
  • Brita Jackson Inc. – Paisley Park Dance Salute
  • Alexander O’Neal – Finale

1996 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSIC AWARDS

DATE:  August 30, 1996

PLACE:  Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis

HOST:  Vesta Williams

ENTERTAINMENT:

  • Black Theater Salute
  • Gospel Allstars
  • Reggae Allstars
  • R&B Allstars

 


 

1997 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSIC AWARDS

DATE:  June 7, 1997

PLACE:

HOST:

Best Artist Award was given to Prince.  The trophy was made out to “The Artist.”

 


1998 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSIC AWARDS

SCHEDULE:

Friday, June 19, 1988:  Showcase Kickoff, Fineline Music Cafe

  • Brown Pletcher Band
  • Red Bone Ruby
  • Daddy I
  •  Shaun J
  • Vanguard
  • Elusion

 

Saturday, June 20, 1988:  MBMA/Juneteeth Showcase, Theodore Wirth Park

  • Excelsior Chorale Ensemble
  • Scott Price Project
  • Calunay
  • Robert Johnson
  • Yotman
  • Little Buddy
  • Chosen Few
  • Tribe of Millions

 


MUSIC AND AWARDS PRESENTATIONS

DATE:  June 21, 1998

PLACE:  International Market Square, Minneapolis

HOST:  Robyne Robinson

ENTERTAINMENT:

  • Brown Pletcher Band
  • CitySongs Kids
  • James Grear & Co.
  • Kathleen Bradley & Best Kept Secret
  • Dennis Spears & Friends
  • All Star Jam

1998 AWARDS

Retail Award:  Soul Survivor

Rap Award:  Rhyme Sayers

Pepsi New Talent Award:  NEXT

Jazz Award:  Dennis Spears & Yolanda Bruce

Blues Award:  Cornbread Harris

Gospel Award:  Urban Street Level Ministry

Radio Station Award:  KMJZ/KSGS

Radio Personality Award:  Ed Garrett

Producer Award:  Lance Alexander & Prof. T.

Band Award:  Mint Condition

Special Recognition Community Award:  Sam Davis & CitySongs

Special Recognition Industry Award:  Ivan Wallace/Paul Landry


1999 – 2009:  The awards went on hiatus


2010 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSIC AWARDS

DATE:  July 16, 2010

PLACE:  Pantages Theater

PRODUCERS:  Kim and Pete Rhodes

HOST:  T. Mychael Rambo


2011 MINNESOTA BLACK MUSIC AWARDS

DATE:  July 15, 2011

PLACE:  Pantages Theater

HOST:  T. Mychael Rambo

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Next
  • Boom Box
  • Darnell Davis & Remnant
  • Kredentials
  • Ashley Dubose
  • Toki Wright
  • Diva’s on the Rise
  • Deluxe (formerly The Family)

 


2011 AWARDS:

  • Alexander O’Neal
  • Ann Nesby
  • Jameecia and Paris Bennett
  • Marie Graham
  • Bobby Lyle
  • Rhymesayers Entertainment
  • Irv Williams
  • Moore by Four
  • Arnellia’s
  • Kelvin Quarrells
  • Bro Jules
  • Next
  • Bobby Champion

 


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