Killer Mike to receive inaugural Billboard Change Maker Award


(CNN)Rapper and social activist Killer Mike has been announced as the first recipient of the Billboard Change Maker Award.

The announcement was made Monday by Dick Clark Productions and NBC which will host the upcoming Billboard Awards.

The award “honors the artist or group that speaks truth to power through their music, celebrity and community.”

“They are socially conscious, politically aware, active in their community and charitable with time, money and/or influence to improve the lives of others,” according to a news release about the announcement.

    “Killer Mike’s dedication to equality, social justice and financial literacy in the Black community has catapulted him as a headlining figure of social responsibility and activism, as demonstrated in the wake of the slayings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.”

    One half of the hip hop duo Run the Jewels, Killer MIke has spent much of his 20-year music career actively working for social justice and equality including leading voter registration initiatives and helping to create entrepreneurial and educational opportunities for the Black community.

    “This award highlights and recognizes the attributes of a true social justice warrior in the field of music who has made exemplary strides to lead the community in positive changemaking advocacy,” Datwon Thomas, vice president, cultural media at Vibe/MRC Media and consulting producer for the Billboard Music Awards, said in a statement. “In partnership with a diverse committee of colleagues at MRC and our cultural inclusion committee, BLAC, we selected Killer Mike for his contributions to the current movement and culture and his tangible efforts to make national and grassroots change.”

      The award will be presented to Killer Mike by Atlanta Mayor Kiesha Lance Bottoms, at the APEX (African American Panoramic Experience) Museum in Atlanta.

      Hosted by Kelly Clarkson, the 2020 Billboard Music Awards will broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.