*The Living Legends Foundation celebrated their 21st Annual Awards Gala Thursday night (Oct 5th) at the Taglyan Cultural Complex honoring seven distinguished individuals in the entertainment industry who’ve paved the way for many in the industry.

This year’s honorees include Dancing with The Stars musical director Ray Chew and his wife Vivian Scott Chew, Chief Marketing Strategist of Empire distribution, Morace Landy; Senior Vice President of Programming of Apex Media Charleston, Steve Crumbley; Don Jackson, CEO of Central City Productions Inc; Varnell Johnson, CEO of Junes Entertainment; Larry Jackson, Head of Original Music Content for Apple Music and lastly, Tyrone Williams who received the Hip Hop Visionary Award for his extensive work extending back to the 80’s founding the record label Cold Chillin’ Records.

Tyrone spoke with EUR correspondent Jay Styles on being recognized at this year’s Annual Gala.

“ I have a youth organization called Brooklyn United, been doing it since 1996 [ages] 8 to 18, it’s a marching band and we have 220 kids right now,” Williams said. “And since 2002, we’ve sent over 1200 kids to college so we’re that type of organization also, more then it just being about my mentors who are honoring me…just what they do..the fact that they are looking out for people who might have struggles right now. You know…there wasn’t any 401K’s and…pension plans for a lot of people in this industry, so the Living Legends Foundation does not leave anybody behind…and that’s my motto I don’t leave any kids behind and they not leaving any grown person behind.”

R&B singer Kenny Lattimore made a surprise appearance at the Gala and shared why it was so important for him to be in attendance.

“I’m just here celebrating these legends man, excited because when i grew up these were the executives and these were the people I wanted to work with…and have been blessed to work with from watching Ernie Singleton here to Vivian Scott Chew who is being honored, I singed at her wedding actually,” Lattimore said. “So I’ve been friends with these people for a long time and they are the ones that made me excited about this industry.”

Chairman, David C. Linton spoke with us on the importance of having an organization that recognizes these distinguished individuals in the industry.

“It’s so important to have this platform because it’s so many people who are behind the scenes who make things happen, who make careers and create jobs and opportunities forever,” Linton said.  “And I think it’s important for people to see who they are, not only that we’re documenting the contributions of African Americans and women who are those who come behind us and to provide a thing time for those who are currently in the industry.”

The Living Legends Foundation also provides assistance to those who have served in the music industry and you can find more information here.

More interviews above include Grammy Award winner Siedah Garrett; CEO Junes Entertainment, Varnell Johnson and Central City Productions CEO, Don Jackson.