The Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame announced its third class of inductees Wednesday, which includes the R&B group The Deele, gospel composer Louise Shropshire, lead vocals for The Spinners Philippe Wynne, and the “Godfather of Soul” James Brown.

By DeMicia Inman

The Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame has announced its third class of inductees.

Wednesday (May 31) Alicia Reece, Hamilton County Commission President and founder of the Walk of Fame, revealed the 2023 honorees as The Deele, L.A. Reid and Babyface, Louise Shropshire, Philippé Wynne, and James Brown.

“We are making history this year with the grand opening of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame,” expressed Reece in a statement.

“This new state-of-the-art interactive tourism attraction celebrating the rich culture of Black musical artists, producers, and songwriters will educate, entertain and attract tourists worldwide while bringing together multi-generations of families to enjoy at this free park.”

US singer James Brown performs during concert in Riga, Latvia, Friday 28 July 2006. EPA/INGA KUNDZINA

Additionally, special recognition is given to more than 60 “Top Music Influencers,” recognized at a special press event. Those acknowledged are also on the Walk of Fame for their significant contributions to the music industry, with respect to their Southwest Ohio and midwestern roots.

The aforementioned artists, as well as the top music influencers, will join the 2022 Inductees— Midnight Star, featuring Reggie and Vincent Calloway, Penny Ford, Hi-Tek, and Wilbert Longmire. The 2021 founding Inductees include Bootsy Collins, The Isley Brothers, Dr. Charles Fold, and Otis Williams.

Taking place at the Hard Rock Casino in the southern Ohio city, the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame ceremony is set to feature augmented reality activations, an experiential drum machine, a musical waterfall, nightly jam sessions, and interactive kiosks that honor the contributions of Black musical artists from Southwest Ohio. A grand opening featuring a free concert by the Ohio Players takes place on July 22, 2023.

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