New Edition and Frankie Beverly Receive Well-Deserved Awards

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The NAACP Image Awards, an annual awards ceremony presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, celebrate outstanding achievements in entertainment, significant contributions to civil and human rights. Often called the “Black Oscars/Emmys/Grammys”, these awards have honored legends like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Sidney Poitier, and Spike Lee – all inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame. This year, two icons, New Edition and Frankie Beverly, received
special acknowledgements.

My favorite male group of all time, New Edition, has been inducted into the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame. Frankie Beverly received the Lifetime Achievement Award, given to individuals who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights alongside their entertainment careers.

NAACP Image Award – Hall of Fame distinctions are bestowed based on lasting accomplishments, and those of New Edition and Frankie Beverly speak for themselves. Their timeless hits have been enjoyed by multiple generations for over three decades. They’ve created music that brings families together at reunions or just backyard BBQs, inspiring everyone to sing and dance.

Frankie Beverly, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been a musical force since the 1970s. His inspiration to sing began in his childhood choir. New Edition, an American R&B/pop group hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, formed in 1978 and reached peak popularity during the 1980s. Like Beverly, they began performing as children and continue to sell out concerts to this day.

Frankie Beverly is best known as the frontman of the soul and funk band Maze. Since their first release, the group has enjoyed incredible success with nearly 30 hit singles – nine of which reached the top 10. Maze has toured worldwide, appealing to a diverse audience, contributing to their long-lasting popularity and sold-out crowds. Their concerts are known for their uplifting energy; if you’ve never experienced one, you’ve missed a real treat! The band’s hit “Before I Let Go” has even been covered by the one the only Beyoncé. A skilled songwriter and musician, Frankie Beverly’s influence extends far beyond the stage. He is a cultural icon!

New Edition, initially guided by Maurice Starr, started as a Jackson 5-esque group featuring Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe. After Bobby Brown’s departure in 1986 to pursue a solo career, Johnny Gill joined the lineup. Known as a pop phenomenon, New Edition even had Madonna open for them in their early years! The group currently tours with six members and recently extended their sold-out 2024 residency at Wynn Las Vegas – a testament to their enduring

As they matured, New Edition transitioned from a bubblegum pop sound to a smooth, adult R&B style, generating multi-platinum hits as both a group and through solo careers. Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe also formed the successful trio Bell Biv DeVoe.

The NAACP champions racial equity and envisions a world without racism, where Black people enjoy equal opportunities. Globally, the NAACP Image Awards are recognized as a preeminent multicultural awards show and hold special significance for many people of color. New Edition and Frankie Beverly have paved the way in R&B, and I’m thrilled to see their recognition. These awards are absolutely well-earned, well- deserved, and long overdue.