LOS ANGELES, CA (October 12, 2020) – dick clark productions and NBC today announced that rapper and social activist, Killer Mike, member of hip hop duo Run the Jewels and long-standing social justice activist, will be the recipient of the inaugural Billboard Change Maker Award at the “2020 Billboard Music Awards.” The award will be presented by Mayor of Atlanta, Kiesha Lance Bottoms at the historic APEX (African American Panoramic Experience) Museum in Atlanta, GA. Hosted by Kelly Clarkson, the “2020 Billboard Music Awards” will broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Historically, music has been a major vehicle for change, protest, and outcry regarding the need for a fair and equitable society. From Marvin Gaye and Janis Joplin to Nina Simone and Bob Dylan, music artists have continued to make significant artistic contributions to the social justice and civil rights movements and have made palpable efforts on both the world stage as well as through grassroots efforts. The Billboard Change Maker Award honors the artist or group that speaks truth to power through their music, celebrity and community. They are socially conscious, politically aware, active in their community and charitable with time, money and/or influence to improve the lives of others.
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,” said Datwon Thomas, MRC’s VP, Cultural Media and Consulting Producer for the Billboard Music Awards. “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.”
Previously announced “2020 Billboard Music Awards” performers include Alicia Keys, Bad Bunny, BTS, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Doja Cat, En Vogue, Khalid, Swae Lee, Demi Lovato, Sia, Post Malone and SAINt JHN. Garth Brooks will receive the elite ICON Award, joining only eight other artists who have received the honor, and take the stage for a highly anticipated performance.
Fan-voted categories this year include Billboard Chart Achievement Award, Top Social Artist and Top Collaboration. Voting is now open and available on TikTok, this year’s primary voting platform, reflecting its increasing impact on music and role as a staging ground for chart-topping hits.
“Billboard Music Awards” nominees and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data/Nielsen Music. The awards are based on the chart period of March 23, 2019 through March 14, 2020. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.
The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” is sponsored by TikTok and Xfinity.
The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” is produced by dick clark productions. Amy Thurlow, Mark Bracco, Barry Adelman, Linda Gierahn, Kelly Clarkson and Robert Deaton are executive producers.