“Warwick is a perfect example of an artist whose incredible talent and extensive accomplishments closely align with the achievements of Marian Anderson herself,” Hess said. She delivered Mayor Kenney’s remarks since he was unable to attend, Philly.com reports.
The Marian Anderson Awards were founded in 1998 in honor of South Philly-born opera singer and civil rights activist Marian Anderson.
According to their website, the award “honors critically acclaimed artists who have impacted society in a positive way, either through their work or their support for an important cause.”
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Past honorees include James Earl Jones, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey and Mia Farrow.
Warwick said of the award in a statement that she is “honored, flattered, and overwhelmed with absolute joy.”
The annual gala awards concert will be held on November 14, 2017 in Philadelphia.