January 11, 2012

ESSENCE Black Women in Music Event honors Kelly Rowland and Sylvia Rhone

NEW YORK- ESSENCE will celebrate 2012 GRAMMY® week with its 3rd annual ESSENCE Black Women in Music event honoring GRAMMY® Award-winning artist and rising icon Kelly Rowland and music industry veteran Sylvia Rhone on February 8, 2012 in Los Angeles.

The invitation-only, red-carpet event will bring out Hollywood's elite to celebrate the accomplishments of the most influential movers and shakers in the music industry. The evening will feature an exclusive performance by Rowland and special guest GRAMMY® Award-winner Eve. The DJ for the evening will be the legendary MC Lyte—the first female solo rapper to ever be nominated for a GRAMMY®.

"We've watched Kelly Rowland for over a decade grow from a teenage sensation into an international superstar. Her talent, drive and remarkable creative force show what it truly means to be a young powerhouse in an ever-changing industry," said ESSENCE editor-in-chief Constance C.R. White. "Kelly embodies the 'soul' of young Black women through her music and we are proud to salute her dynamic contributions."

"Sylvia Rhone has transformed the music industry with her vision and she has become a trailblazer for African-American women everywhere by breaking down barriers throughout her career," said ESSENCE president Michelle Ebanks. "Her exceptional talent, enduring humanity and effortless elegance make Sylvia a true ESSENCE woman and we are honored to present her with the ESSENCE Black Women in Music award."

Rowland is a global multi-platinum GRAMMY® Award-winning artist who has sold over 60 million albums worldwide. Entering the industry as a part of one the world's largest girl groups of our time—Destiny's Child—she eventually branched out into a thriving solo career. Rowland also broke into the film and television industry, appearing in sitcoms and several big-screen hits. Most recently, she joined the judging panel on the eighth series of the British reality television competition The X Factor. Rowland is currently nominated for a 2012 GRAMMY® for her platinum single Motivation featuring Lil Wayne from her third solo album, Here I Am.

Rhone has succeeded for more than three decades as one of the most influential female executives in the history of the music business. Most recently, she served as President of Universal Motown Records, overseeing a roster of breakthrough, best-selling artists, platinum, and multi-platinum artists, Missy Elliott, Kelly Rowland, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Keith Sweat, Nelly, Melanie Fiona, Akon, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, MC Lyte and the legendary Stevie Wonder, among many others. Rhone has been honored with more than three dozen awards during her career, both from the music industry and the greater community.

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