Music legend Dionne Warwick will take center stage on Wednesday, February 15 to receive the Black Enterprise Women of Power Legacy Award along with an esteemed list of others, including veteran broadcaster Carole Simpson, Professor Anita Hill and entrepreneur/designer Amsale Aberra. The awards gala kicks off the seventh annual Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit hosted by State Farm, a four-day executive leadership conference attended by nearly 700 professional women of color.
The Grammy Award-winning singer scored her first hit in December 1962 with “Don’t Make Me Over” and has been churning out classics since: “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “Walk On By,” “Heartbreaker” and “That’s What Friends Are For.” She helped launch the legendary Soul Train Music Awards, raise millions of dollars for AIDS research and served as a U.S. Ambassador for health.
Warwick attributes much of her tremendous success to keeping good people around her — something she recommends to anyone getting into the entertainment business.
“I’m still working with the same people I’ve worked with over many, many years,” she said. “There is a loyalty factor and a friendship factor that have become paramount. It’s important to stay surrounded by people you trust and who have your back — who have your best interest at heart.”
The singer says she’s proud to receive honors such as the Black Enterprise Legacy Award because they help introduce her to a new generation of fans.
“It’s wonderful when what you do for a living has been accepted as something that people want to be a part of and will continue to enjoy over a period of time,” says Warwick. “It’s very exciting.”
Keep an eye out for some new music from her too, she says.
“I’d like to work with Earth, Wind and Fire and George Benson,” Warwick said, revealing that she has a new album due out in March. “I’ll be touring to promote it.”
She says she also has plans to go back into the studio with legendary producer Phil Ramone, maintaining that she’s considering recording a bunch of other projects, including a country album she’s been approached to do.
Registration for the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, hosted by State Farm, is still available by calling (800) 209-7729 and on-site. Visit www.blackenterprise.com/wps for more information.