The Rhythm & Blues Foundation Announces Pioneer Awards Co-Hosts

Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:14pm EDT

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Music legends Dionne Warwick, Bonnie Raitt and Jerry Butler will co-host
the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's star-studded 20th Anniversary Pioneer
Awards gala. The event, to be held at the Kimmel Center for the
Performing Arts in Philadelphia on September 9, 2008, will pay homage to
Chaka Khan with the Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition,
Bill Withers, Teena Marie, and singer-songwriter Sugar Pie DeSanto will
receive the Foundation's Individual Artist Award; The Whispers and Kool &
the Gang will receive the Foundation's Group Artists Award; Motown
session players the Funk Brothers will receive the Foundation's Sidemen
Award; Soul legend Donny Hathaway will posthumously receive a Legacy
Award in recognition of his influential output in the 1970s; and Al Bell,
former president of two renowned record labels, Stax Records and Motown
Records, will be given the Ahmet Ertegun Leadership Award.

    Warwick, Butler, and Raitt have deep ties to the Rhythm & Blues
Foundation, and in recognition of the importance of the Foundation's
mission and their 20th anniversary, they have graciously given their time
to co-host the Pioneer Awards show. Bonnie Raitt, one of the top slide
guitarists and singers, as well as a 9-time Grammy Award winner, is a
Co-Founder of the Foundation. Jerry Butler, an original member of soul
group The Impressions and a highly successful R&B/Pop solo artist, served
as Chairman of the Foundation for many years, and is now Chairman
Emeritus of the Foundation as well as a past Pioneer Award honoree.
Dionne Warwick, a 5-time Grammy winner, has served as a Director of the
Foundation, and received the Foundation's coveted Lifetime Achievement
Award in 2003.

    Patricia Wilson Aden, Executive of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation,
commented on the Foundation's 20th anniversary: "Over the years, the
active support of Jerry Butler, Dionne Warwick and Bonnie Raitt has been
enormously beneficial to the work of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. It's
only fitting that they serve as co-hosts as we celebrate our
accomplishments over the past twenty years and prepare to meet the
challenges that will come in the next twenty years.

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    For more information about the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and to purchase
tickets for the 2008 Pioneer Awards, please visit or
call 215-568-1080.

    This year's Pioneer Awards sponsors include American Airlines, Amtrak,
BMI, Independent Blue Cross, Music Choice, Bank of America, Philadelphia
International Records, Comcast, Universal Music Group and Jaguar. Media
partners Music Choice, WRNB-Radio One, WDAS-ClearChannel Radio and XM
Radio Satellite.

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