The Billboard Music Awards will present its inaugural Change Maker Award, and the first-ever recipient will be Killer Mike. The award, which honors an “artist or group that speaks truth to power through their music, celebrity and community” will be presented by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms this year, which makes sense given Killer Mike’s political ties to the city. Bottoms will present Killer Mike with the award at the APEX (African American Panoramic Experience) Museum in Atlanta.
Here’s what Billboard says about Killer Mike, via a press release sent to The Root:
Killer Mike’s dedication to equality, social justice and financial literacy in the Black community has catapulted him as a headlining figure of social responsibility and activism, as demonstrated in the wake of the slayings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.
Throughout his 20-year music career, Mike has been instrumental in the social justice and civil rights movements leading nationwide voter registration initiatives within the Black community, creating opportunities for Black businesses to thrive by educating civic leaders and community members, particularly youth, on the importance of entrepreneurship and financial responsibility. He has used his platform to educate, inspire and motivate an entire generation to become the change they want to see.
“This award highlights and recognizes the attributes of a true social justice warrior in the field of music who has made exemplary strides to lead the community in positive changemaking advocacy,” Datwon Thomas, MRC Entertainment’s VP, Cultural Media and consulting producer for the Billboard Music Awards said in a statement. “In partnership with a diverse committee of colleagues at MRC and our cultural inclusion committee, BLAC, we selected Killer Mike for his contributions to the current movement and culture and his tangible efforts to make national and grassroots change.”
This year, the rapper-activist made headlines when he joined T.I. in donating 500 meals to Atlanta residents and participated in a virtual town hall discussing the coronavirus pandemic with the likes of Rep. Ayanna Pressley and now-Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris. Plus, he had a quite controversial meeting with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. Among the Black-ass performers at this year’s awards ceremony will be Brandy, Alicia Keys, Kane Brown, Doja Cat, En Vogue, Khalid, Swae Lee and SAINt JHN.
The 2020 Billboard Music Awards, hosted by Kelly Clarkson, will air Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.