BET Networks’ CEO and chairman Debra L. Lee will be acknowledged and commemorated as an honoree during the 2017 Grammy Salute to Industry Icons.
As the first woman to obtain the honor, Lee was selected by the Recording Academy for the accolade and praised highly for her contributions to music through BET.
“The ability to present, promote and champion music on television is a very significant contribution to our industry and to our creative community,” Neil Portnow, Recording Academy president and CEO revealed to Billboard. “Debra has done a phenomenal job with BET. She’s a trailblazer who not only knows how to lead a successful business but also a visionary and change agent. We look forward to celebrating our first, and definitely not the last, female honoree.”
Venerated industry executive Clive Davis, who will be presenting the award to Lee alongside the Recording Academy, made further comment that, in addition to her successful journey with BET, Lee has also raised the profile of African-American businesswomen.
Lee will receive the award at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California during the Pre-Grammy Gala. She also expressed her gratitude for such an acknowledgment from the elite group of industry influencers.
“I’m not only honored personally but also for BET and all of the work we’ve done,” she said. “Music is a part of BET’s DNA. We’ve been a major player in the industry for 37 years now. It’s tremendous to be recognized for that. And to be the first woman to join this dynamic group of industry trailblazers is a double honor.”
Congratulations, Ms. Lee! We're proud of you.
(Photo: Paras Griffin/BET/Getty Images for BET)