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Stevie Wonder to Receive First Epitome of Soul Award at October Event in Memphis

Image Courtesy of Eddie WolflStevie Wonder will be honored with the inaugural Epitome of Soul Award at an October 11 event held at the Cannon Center of the Performing Arts in Memphis, Tennessee.  The Motown legend will be presented with the award by The Consortium MMT, a Memphis-based non-profit organization that seeks to develop the city as a music-industry hub.

The Memphis Business Journal reports that Wonder will perform at the event, and will be accompanied for part of the show by a number of as-yet-unannounced artists.

In related news, The Consortium MMT is planning to launch an annual soul music festival next year that would include the presentation of the next Epitome of Soul Award. 

Consortium founder and renowned Memphis songwriter David Porter says, "There's no better example to make the statement on the value of soul music coming out of Memphis than Stevie Wonder."

Porter adds that the festival will help publicize Memphis as "the apex of soul music," and will promote the Consortium's Emerging Stars Program, a six-week educational course geared toward helping aspiring artists prepare for music careers.

"We're building something with soul music that's already credible," explains Porter.  "In the early '70s, it was the third largest industry and third largest employer in the city.  That gives us more of a power position to be a conduit for other genres."

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