By Micha Green
AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor

Cathy Hughes, legendary radio mogul and Urban One founder and chairwoman, has spent 40 years building a proud legacy of Black excellence and creating groundbreaking and entertaining programming.  However, on Nov. 12, the humble boss admitted in front of a large group of journalists at the Urban One headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., she had never done a press conference, as she confidently stood conducting her first, and showcasing the lineup for the 2nd annual Urban One Honors, which is to be held, Dec. 5, at the MGM Grand National Harbor.  

“It is specifically created to honor the 40 years of the existence of Radio One.  It seems almost impossible to me that I’ve been in business for 40 years,” Hughes said.

There were a lot of “firsts” for the media mogul, which led to Radio One, then TV One, and ultimately the umbrella of Urban One, and its 40-year success; for that reason, Hughes and her team are celebrating in a big way.

Urban One founder and Chairwoman Cathy Hughes, at the Urban One Honors press conference discussing how the media company is celebrating 40 years of producing Black excellence. (Courtesy Photo)

“Anybody who comes to any of our events knows that we all always try to create a memorable occasion for those in attendance. So we’re going to be spotlighting a lot of those folks that started with us and are coming back… So be there with us Dec. 5 and you will be pleased,” she said.

As Urban One celebrates 40 years, they will continue their tradition of celebrating Black excellence within different fields and services to the African American community.

Honorees include: veteran music executive Sylvia Rhone (Lifetime Achievement Award); Grammy Award-winning artist Missy Elliott (Music Innovation Award); Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx (Entertainment Icon Award); and star of “Pose,” Ryan Jamaal Swain (Represent Pride Award).

“What’s so brilliant about all of us and what TV One is doing, is being able to celebrate 40 years of the light and love of Black people and the excellence of Black excellence,” said Ryan Jamaal Swain at the press conference.

Performers include: Grammy Award-winning recording artist and songwriter Ne-Yo; Grammy-nominated rapper Wale; Grammy Award-winning R&B superstar Brandy; R&B singer Eric Benét; Gospel singer Pastor Charles Jenkins; an artist compared to Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke Jac Ross; and television host Egypt Sherrod. The subject of Netflix’s documentary “The Black Godfather” Clarence Avant and performer Billy Porter are among the show’s presenters.

“We are blessed to have Billy Porter as part of our event. No matter how busy the Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning performer is, he has made time to support Urban One and continues to be an advocate for Black Press,” Hughes said.

While the Black media company is busy celebrating others, honorees, like Swain, emphasized the importance of commemorating Hughes and the Urban One brand.

“This woman has done the epitome of what I plan to do with my art, which is to impact, to love and to cherish the integrity and morality of Black people.  And to know her amazing story, and to know that she’s a fan of mine is a gift.”


Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor