- Foundation Honors Award-Winning Actress, Singer, Songwriter and Producer Queen Latifah and Presents Grammy Award-Nominated DJ/Producer Steve Aoki with Music Innovator Award Producer DJ Khaled Receives #ToyotaGiving Award presented by the All-New Toyota Camry Host Sway Calloway and performers Wyclef with Wavie Gang, Joey Alexander, and DJ D-Nice join the celebration
VH1 Save The Music Foundation honored entertainment icon Queen Latifah as part of the Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Gala for her contributions to the world of music and commitment to providing low-income students with opportunities to pursue an education. A Newark native, Queen Latifah and the Foundation had recently announced a 5-year, $5 million project to rebuild music in 38 schools in the city. At the Gala, the Foundation also presented Steve Aoki with the Music Innovator Award for his impact on the music industry, his leadership as a philanthropist through the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, and role as an outspoken advocate for music education. Toyota, which served as an event sponsor, presented DJ Khaled with the #ToyotaGiving Award for his role as a champion for music programs in schools and involvement as national spokesperson for VH1 Save The Music sister organization GET SCHOOLED.
“I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to be a part of the amazing work that VH1 Save The Music does,” Queen Latifah said. “This is bigger than just teaching kids how to play instruments – it’s about using music to bring communities together and giving all children a shot at a brighter future. This work can’t stop until every child can access music programs as part of their education.”
“I’m honored to be here to celebrate VH1 Save The Music’s 20th anniversary,” Steve Aoki said in his acceptance speech.”Thank you for this award. Tremendous work has been done bringing back music programs to students across the country. I’m proud to be included with a group of incredible musicians who give back to their communities. I don’t know where I would be without music. These incredible programs will help build the future of music and I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years of music technology will bring to kids!”
VH1 Save The Music also unveiled a new grant program that will broaden the range of opportunities for students across the country and advance the Foundation’s mission to make music available in every public school in America. Introduced by Steve Aoki, the Music Tech Grant is planned as an investment in American public high schools to fund: the hardware, software, and musical instruments needed for audio engineering, recording, and production. In addition to the new grant program, the Foundation surprised DJ Khaled by announcing that they would partner with GET SCHOOLED on the WIN MORE MUSIC CAMPAIGN aimed at inspiring students to achieve academic success through music.
“Not all children in America are afforded the same chances to succeed, but we believe in the power of music to help students fulfill their potential. That’s why we are more committed than ever to bringing music education to students who need it most,” said Henry Donahue, executive director of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. “Not only is music education proven to help students be more successful, but we believe it’s every child’s right to access music and art within their school and community. With the continued support of our partners in communities across the U.S., we can help make music an essential piece of every child’s education in the next 20 years.”
“For three years it’s been a privilege for Toyota to partner with this incredible institution dedicated to providing music education to children, and to honor musicians who give back to their communities,” said Steven Curtis, vice president of media and engagement marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “VH1 Save The Music’s focus on both local action and national advocacy makes music education a real possibility for many students who otherwise would never have access to it and Toyota is proud to support in this mission.”
VH1 Save The Music’s 20th Anniversary Gala was sponsored by The All-New Toyota Camry, Toys R US, IOMAXIS, Notable Wines, Lyft, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, ALEX AND ANI, Raymond Weil, Heineken, Moxy Times Square and JetBlue.