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10 icons to be inducted into North Carolina Music Hall of Fame

The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame will hold inductions for its 2020 and 2021 classes at the Gem Theater in Kannapolis.

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame holding its 2020-21 induction ceremony at the Gem Theatre in downtown Kannapolis.

This year's induction ceremony is double the size after last year's was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hall will honor 10 award-winning artists from North Carolina, including Jermaine Dupri, Michael Mauldin and Roberta Flack. This year's class includes bluegrass, gospel, hip-hop and jazz artists. 

“Our organization honors all types of music artists that are from North Carolina," Veronica Cordle, executive director of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, said. "Some of the top names being inducted this year are Donald Lawrence, Michael Mauldin, Jermaine Dupri and Charles Whitfield."

Whitfield, who went to North Carolina Central, was one of the masterminds behind Hidden Beach Recordings. The record label's first signed artist was singer Jill Scott. Other artists heard on the label include Darius Rucker and Al B. Sure!

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“I owe a lot of credit to my good friend Eli Davis who manages Anthony Hamilton," Whitfield said. "Debbie McPhatter, who is the chairman of the Hall of Fame, [her] favorite artist is Jill Scott and her favorite song is 'So in Love' which was a song I gave Jill from Anthony. Once you’re in the Hall of Fame you can nominate someone, so Eli had Anthony nominate me."

Whitfield is also credited for launching what was once called the Uptown Charlotte Jazz Festival while working with Beasley Media Group. The company owns over 60 radio stations in the country, including Charlotte.

“At Beasley, I worked here for eight years and literally the first year we had Mike Phillips and had Norman Brown," Whitfield said.

At the ceremony, attendees will hear more stories like Whitfield’s to learn the who’s who of music in North Carolina.

“It's very special to highlight who these legends are it really brings them to the forefront," Cordle said.

Folks will also hear live performances.

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“We’re going to have Al B. Sure! here, we’re going to have some performances with Michael Mauldin, Jermaine Dupri's family and we're also going to have the Hoppers, a Southern gospel group," Cordle said.

Contact Ruby Durham at rdurham@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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