Jody Watley will also be publicly recognized for her time, effort, and dedication to humanity in the form of the prestigious Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony.
“We are so excited to designate June 2nd as Jody Watley Day in Atlanta, Georgia,” states Georgia Representative Billy Mitchell.” “She is truly the epitome of grace, excellence, class, and a gifted songstress and songwriter, producer, businesswoman, philanthropist.”
Jody Watley is a Grammy award winning multi-platinum selling solo artist/songwriter and producer and one of the architects of 21st century pop who forged the template that is now in everybody’s playbook.
From her groundbreaking marriage of Rap & R&B (1989’s “Friends,” a collaboration with hip-hop legends Eric B. & Rakim pairing that is the first to crossover R&B/Hip-Hop, Pop and Dance into the Billboard Top 10); to her vision-forward marriage in personal branding of couture styles, vintage and black girls outside the box street-wear visuals, the introduction of oversized hoop earrings all paired perfectly with her music showing the relationship between high fashion, club culture with breakthrough editorials in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue Italia, Rolling Stone and various groundbreaking ad campaigns created an indelible impression. Watley’s eventual fusion of jazz and underground club culture, the ease with which she crossed and still crosses genres opened the doors for greater acceptance of black women thinking outside the box in music and fashion.
Listed in 2018 as one of the Top 25 Dance Artists of All Time and Top 60 Hot 100 Female Artists of All Time by Billboard Magazine; Jody Watley’s entire career has been about looking forward long since her days as an original member of the trio Shalamar, drawing inspiration from personal heroes and iconoclasts who always ten steps ahead of the pack.
The Chicago native’s eclectic repertoire spans decades and includes – R&B, Pop, Dance, Hip-hop, Deep House, Jazz, Drum & bass, Breakbeat, Ambient, and Spoken-word – built on a positive vision and a strong taste for artistic and aesthetic risk.
As a solo artist, the ageless pop and R&B singer has 6 Billboard Hot 100 Top Ten Singles, 13 Number 1 Dance Singles, 2 R&B Number 1’s, 15 Top 40 Singles, Gold and platinum albums, 2007 Billboard Dance Lifetime Achievement, 2017 recipient of the Black Music Honors Crossover Music Icon Award , in 2018 ranked in Billboard in the Top 60 Hot 100 Female Artists of All Time and Top 25 Dance Artist of All Time. As a Solo artist Watley has nominations from the American Music Awards, MTV Awards, NAACP Awards and Soul Train Awards. Watley received her first honorary doctorate in 2022, a longtime advocate for equal rights, musicians equity in pay working with NARAS, LGBTQ equality and various charitable causes.
Jody Watley’s ongoing vast catalog of music is streaming on all digital platforms including her latest “Renderings”- The Alex Di Cio’ Remixes.