Houston rapper will receive Billboard Change Maker Award
Houston-based rapper, philanthropist, and social activist Trae Tha Truth will be the second recipient of the annual Billboard Change Maker Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs). Hosted by Nick Jonas, the BBMAs will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 23rd at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on NBC.
The Billboard Change Maker Award honors the artist or group that speaks truth to power through their music, celebrity and community. They are socially conscious, politically aware, active in their community and charitable with time, money and/or influence to improve the lives of others. Trae joins previous recipient, rapper Killer Mike, who received the first ever Billboard Change Maker Award in 2020.
Trae led the Houston march for justice on behalf of long-time friend George Floyd after his untimely murder in Minneapolis. Trae was one of a handful of celebrity activists arrested in Louisville, Kentucky during protest efforts demanding the Kentucky Attorney General charge the police officers responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor. Affectionately known as the “Hometown Hero” in Houston, Trae founded Relief Gang in 2017 following Hurricane Harvey, a program offering direct relief to families in need during natural disasters and other unexpected detriments. Since forming, the group has rendered aid to people in Louisiana, Puerto Rico and other areas affected by natural disasters. Trae’s Angel By Nature 501c3 nonprofit has been instrumental in providing assistance to those who need it most. Since 2009, they have donated $1.5 million worth of basic living supplies to more than 20,000 individuals and 7,500 families in need. “Trae Day” was established in the city of Houston by Mayor Bill White on July 22, 2008, in recognition of Trae’s philanthropic and social justice work. “Trae Day” is a celebratory event that provides local children with face-to-face celebrity interaction, concerts, health screenings, and school supplies, most of which they would not otherwise have access to.
In an effort to support the incredible work Trae does through his Angel By Nature non-profit, the BBMAs is excited to partner with him to offer the first-ever official award show non-fungible token (NFT). Beginning BBMAs weekend, fans as well as the general public will be able to purchase various Trae Tha Truth Change Maker Award NFTs via Bitski for a limited time, and the proceeds from all NFT sales will be donated to Angel by Nature.
“Trae exemplifies what it means to be the change you want to see,” shares Billboard Music Awards Consulting Producer and Vibe Magazine Editor-In-Chief Datwon Thomas. “He is always in a city near you, helping those in need after natural disasters, fighting for justice after tragic events and giving supplies to families to make it to another day. His name, ‘Tha Truth’ fits perfectly with who he is as a community activist and we are honored to celebrate his tireless efforts and giving spirit.”
Previously announced performers and appearances include P!NK who will receive the distinguished ICON Award, The Weeknd, BTS, Duran Duran, and an appearance by Drake who will receive the coveted Artist of the Decade honor.
Nominations for the 2021 BBMAs were released this month with The Weeknd leading the pack with 16 nods. DaBaby is the second-top finalist with 11, along with rappers Pop Smoke and Juice WRLD received multiple honors, marking the first time in a decade that two of the top ten finalists received posthumous recognition. Fan-voted categories include Top Social Artist and Top Collaboration. Voting is open through May 21st at 11:59 pm PT on Twitter and billboard.com/bbmasvote.
For more than 30 years, the BBMAs has celebrated music’s greatest achievements, honoring the hottest names in music today. Unique among music awards shows, finalists are determined by performance on the Billboard Charts. Since 1940, the Billboard Charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.
The show is produced by Dick Clark Productions. Barry Adelman and Robert Deaton are executive producers.