Jody Watley is receiving special recognition from President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The former Shalamar singer is being awarded the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award on June 2, which will be declared Jody Watley Day, at the Georgia State Capitol.
“I am truly honored for this recognition from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris,” Watley said in a statement according to VIBE. “I am also grateful to Representative Billy Mitchell and Dr. Jacqueline Mohair for nominating me for this prestigious award.”
With this award, she is being “publicly recognized for her time, effort, and dedication to humanity.”
Outside of being a trailblazer in R&B during her solo career in the 80’s and 90’s, she has also been an advocate for LGBTQ rights, involved in HIV/AIDS awareness and women’s empowerment. She also founded her own independent music label, Avitone Recordings, and the Jody Watley Shop where she sells soy candles, scented oils, beard oils, cucumber eye pads and perfume.
Jody Watley received a similar honor in 2008 when she won Billboard Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, she was honored with the Black Music Honors Crossover Music Icon Award and became the First Ambassador to the National Museum Of African American Music In Nashville in 2021. Watley also received her first Honorary Doctorate in Business from the Trinity International University of Ambassadors (TIUA) School of Business in 2022.
“Dr. Watley is a music icon whose music has blessed and inspired millions,” Georgia Secretary of State candidate Dr. Dee Dawkins-Haglier said. “It is a joy to recognize her in the State of Georgia.”
Dr. Jacqueline Mohair, who founded TIUA University, also spoke highly of the Chicago native.
“There is not a more deserving recipient to receive this honor than Dr. Watley who have paved the way for so many others,” she said.