How the Williams brothers turned Cash Money Records into an empire


“The platforms are for people with something to share.” Charlamagne Tha God, co-host of WWPR (Power New York’s syndicated show The Breakfast Club), remarked this while receiving the Living legends foundation’s Jerry Boulding radio executive award. The foundation’s 8th anniversary Awards Gala, held at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, recognized eight recipients.

At the ceremony, Charlamagne implored the audience to “ask yourself each the day who you have helped or inspired to assist people be the best versions of themselves.” The message was repeated throughout the event, which saw Cash Money Records cofounders/CEOs Bryan “Birdman”, Williams and Ronald “Slim,” Williams being awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award. Polow da Don, the producer of the event, paid tribute to the Williams brothers prior to ceremony “They represent the trenches and speak for the people.

I’d like thank my mentors, particularly Jean Riggins, for their support in helping me get the position I am at today. Without their help they would have not helped me achieve the success that I am. Sharon Heyward’s life is an example to all of us and I’m thankful to be able to have her as a character model.

Sharon Heyward, Solutionist LLC’s owner and operator was awarded the Legacy Award by David C. Linton (LLF’s chairman in emeritus) and Ray Harris (longtime industry friends and associates). After receiving the final ceremony of the evening, Heyward stated that “I have always been a straight-no-chaser kind of girl” and was visibly moved. “One of the greatest relics of my professional career is the mentors, as well as others who tell them how I’ve helped with their professional lives.” People who were naysayers were also taken task by her for demeaning people of older age in the business, claiming that “age is an unimportant measurement.”

“That shows a lack of respect for the past that’s given to you” she continued. It is important to be respectful of each the other and to be able to be supportive and assist one another. Heyward was present on stage with Monique, her daughter working in the music sector. Heyward performed a few moments from the Impressions tracks “Keep on Pushing” & “I’m So Proud” and concluded that “The record industry is not an easy task for women.” I didn’t want my daughter Monique involved in this event, however I’m very proud of her…and to the crowd, thank that you let me be a role model to certain of you.

The Digital Executive Award goes to Tuma Basa, director of Black cultural and entertainment on YouTube. It is the Mike Bernardo Female Executive Award is awarded to Johnnie Walker, first female executive vice president of promotion for promotion at Def Jam Recordings and now founder and CEO of the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment Inc. (NABFEME). Henry “Hank” Caldwell is the Founders Award winner. He’s an industry veteran who was the co-founder, president and director of HBCUGO TV, a live streaming television service that broadcasts live.

The moral

It’s clear women musicians have many challenges when it comes to achieving the same place with male peers in music. However, with the support of good role models and mentors that will inspire future generations of women working in the field will stand a better chance at success. I am grateful to take part in this conversation and I am hoping that we’ll continue to work towards achieving equality in the world of music.



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