Newark, NJ-New Jersey’s own Prudential Center better known as “The Rock” has been the garden state’s most prominent enterprise for entertainment. It’s refined Grammy Museum has paid homage to the history of distinguished achievements within the music industry.
In honor of its stature along with celebration of June’s Black Music Month, its New Jersey Legends exhibit hosted a red carpet extravaganza honoring some of this year’s most newest inclusions.
Honoree Melba Moore has been an iconic figure in the entertainment industry for over a half century. Born in Harlem and raised in Newark, the multi Grammy nominated Jersey native began her career in the late 1960’s recording her first single “Magic Touch” shifting gears to acting in Broadway musicals “Hair” and “Purlie” where she won a Tony Award for Best Performance By a Featured Actress for her role as Lutiebelle.
She continued her interchanging career releasing over twenty-five albums topping both Disco and R&B US/UK charts with classics like “You Stepped Into My Life”, “Love’s Comin’ At Ya” and duet hit “A Little Bit More” featuring crooner Freddie Jackson while starring in several TV sitcoms, films “Def By Temptation”, “Fighting Temptations”, Broadway musicals “Les Miserables”, “Ain’t Misbehavin”, eventually returning to her first love with gospel music. After being inducted into the R&B Music Hall of Fame and receiving the Sandy Hosey Lifetime Achievement Award, she presently continues touring entertaining fans.
Platinum selling artist Dupre “DoItAll” Kelly of socially conscious Hip-Hop trio Lords of The Underground was also among the several honorees at the prestigious kick-off. A West Ward-born resident, the former artist turned award-winning community leader and activist was recognized for his achievements providing innovative educational programs, public policy awareness and resources in the Newark community.
The HBCU Shaw University Alpha Phi Alpha graduate developed 211 Community Impact, a non-profit organization targeting community related issues stimulating action for change. His mission is to help revitalize the West Ward and improve the mindset of people by creating programs that engage residents to participate within the system. An active board member of the Newark Arts Foundation, Kelly won as the City Councilman Official of West Ward during the May 2022 elections.
Anthony “Treach” Criss of legendary Grammy Award winning Hip-Hop group Naughty By Nature graced the honorary event alongside wife Cicely Evans Criss on behalf of the trailblazing trio. The high-powered trendsetters of East Orange, took the rap world by storm with smash hit single “O.P.P.” landing their self-titled debut album certified platinum.
Celebrating their newfound status, the flaming trilogy’s follow-up releases 19 Naughty III and Poverty’s Paradise both peaked #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts with fire tracks “Hip Hop Hooray” and “Feel Me Flow” reaching world-wide success. Seven albums later and mending past feuds, the group headlined the Mixtape Tour with Salt-N-Pepa, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and New Kids On The Block before venturing into other endeavors. Treach continued his fame on the big screen with acting roles in “Juice”, “Jason’s Lyric”, “Love And A Bullet”, and TV shows “Blue Bloods”, “Law And Order” and “CSI” to name a few.
Other honorees showcased in “A Hip-Hop Life-Five Decades Of Hip-Hop Music, Art And Culture/New Jersey Legends” exhibit were outstanding photographer Ernie Paniccioli, The Sugar Hill Gang, Tye Tribbett, Dyana Williams, Debbie D, Eddie and Dave Brigati, Darnell Robinson, Terry Jones, Jim Babjak, Joey Dee and The Starliters, Leon Huff, Linda Jones, Sylvia Robinson and The Rascals. A historical diverse fusion of pristine artistry amazingly assembled from Garden State’s finest.
The exhibit will be open from June-October 2022 with featured events, for more information visit www.grammymuseumexp.org.