ATLANTA, GA. (Recording Academy) - The Atlanta Chapter of The Recording Academy® will honor the B-52's, Charlie Brusco, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, and Usher
Raymond IV (Usher) as its 2005 Atlanta Heroes Award recipients. The Heroes Award is the highest honor bestowed by an Academy Chapter and is given to honor outstanding individuals and institutions in the Georgia region that have improved the environment for the creative community. The gala event, which attracts recording artists, key entertainment executives and community leaders, will be held on Thursday, April 21, 2005, at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel (210 Peachtree St., downtown Atlanta). Proceeds will benefit the Academy's professional arts education programs for the music community of the Atlanta region and MusiCares® Foundation — the health and human services charity founded by The Recording Academy.
The event will begin at 6:45 p.m. with a VIP press reception and a special silent auction and cocktail hour offering one-of-a-kind music memorabilia, as well as travel and entertainment packages. The Heroes Awards dinner and show begins at 8 p.m. and will recognize the esteemed honorees with VIP presenters and performances. Sponsorship packages and table sales are available by calling the Atlanta Chapter office at 404.816.1380.
Recipients of the Heroes Award are selected in acknowledgment of the excellence and integrity embodied in their work, as well as their willingness to support and participate in programs benefiting the music community.
Formed on an October night in 1976 following drinks at an Athens, Ga., Chinese restaurant, the B-52's played their first gig at a friend's house on Valentine's Day 1977. Naming themselves after southern slang for exaggerated 'bouffant" hairdos, the newly christened B-52's (Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson and Ricky Wilson) began weekend road trips to New York City for pick-up gigs at CBGB's and a handful of other venues. Before long, their thrift store aesthetic and genre-defying songs were the talk of the post-punk underground. A record deal soon followed and their self-titled debut disc sold more than a million copies on the strength of their first singles, the garage rock party classic "Rock Lobster," and "52 Girls."
With virtually no radio support, the B-52's began to attract fans far beyond the punk clubs of the Lower East Side — galvanizing the pop world with their 'stream-of-consciousness' approach to songwriting and outrageous performance. Several successful albums followed: Wild Planet, Mesopotamia, Party Mix , Whammy!, and Bouncing Off The Satellites. At the time of their greatest achievements, however, they suffered their greatest tragedy — the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson from AIDS in 1985.
In 1989, the B-52's bounced back with Cosmic Thing, their most commercially successful effort to date. The album launched several hit singles, including the party smash "Love Shack", "Roam" and "Deadbeat Club." The successful Good Stuff was released in 1992, followed by the release of 1998's greatest hits collection Time Capsule: Songs For a Future Generation and later an anthology, Nude On The Moon, released on their 25th Anniversary in 2002. For years, the B-52's have supported countless organizations that protect the environment, defend animals, and help those living with HIV and AIDS.
Charlie Brusco's early love of rock and roll music has led to one of the industry's most successful careers in artist management. Brusco discovered and managed the Outlaws, who were the first act signed to Clive Davis' Arista Records in 1973. His work with this multi-platinum Southern rock giant paved the way for his relationship with classic rock radio legend Lynyrd Skynyrd, and his successful revival of Skynyrd's career brought other classic rock acts to his door such as Bad Company, Peter Frampton, Survivor, Tesla, John Waite, and Styx.
Brusco arranged and produced many concerts to benefit Jimmy Carter's campaign, and he promoted the Amnesty International benefit concert. After the events of Sept. 11, he organized Volunteers for America in 2001 and 2002, which benefited the Port Authority Police World Trade Survivor Fund, Port Authority Police, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Educational Fund. Brusco currently sits on the board of directors of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
Mrs. Coretta Scott King is one of the most influential women leaders today. She received a bachelor's degree in music and education from Antioch College in Ohio and then went on to study concert singing at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music, where she earned a degree in voice and violin. As wife of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and as a leading participant in the American Civil Rights Movement, Mrs. King has traveled throughout the nation and the world speaking out on behalf of racial and economic justice, women's and children's rights, gay and lesbian dignity, religious freedom, the needs of the poor and homeless, full-employment, health care, educational opportunities, nuclear disarmament and ecological sanity. For 27 years (1968-1995), Mrs. King devoted her life to developing The King Center.
As founding president, chair, and chief executive officer, she dedicated herself to providing local, national and international programs that have trained tens of thousands of people in Dr. King's philosophy and methods. She served as a Women's Strike for Peace delegate to the 17-nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1962. She is the first woman to deliver the class day address at Harvard, and the first woman to preach at a statutory service at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. A woman of wisdom, compassion and vision, Mrs. Coretta Scott King has tried to make the world a better place and, in the process, has made history.
International superstar Usher has sold more than 33 million albums, both domestically and internationally. Notorious for turning out non-stop hits, such as the GRAMMY®-winning "Yeah," "My Boo," "U Remind Me" and "U Don't Have To Call," Usher ensures his place as one of today's most successful recording artists. His fourth album, Confessions not only debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200, selling 1.1 million albums the first week, it recently won the prestigious Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 47 Annual GRAMMY Awards.
The singer/songwriter/actor/producer has acquired a bevy of awards over the span of his short career, including five GRAMMY Awards, three Soul Train Music Awards, a BET Award, 14 Billboard Music Awards, and three ASCAP Awards, among others. In addition, Usher is a fledging actor who has appeared in such films as Light It Up, The Faculty, She's All That, Disney's Geppetto and Texas Rangers. Usher is involved with the Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital, Starlight Children's Foundation, North Georgia Jaguars Athletic Association and his own foundation titled the New Look Foundation. Also, his tour last year granted wishes for kids of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in every city that he performed.