Cincinnati Black Music Walk Of Fame stars on display at CVG airport until next summer
The first four stars of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame were unveiled Wednesday at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Those receiving stars are Otis Williams of The Charms, The Isley Brothers, Dr. Charles Fold and Bootsy Collins.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Collins became a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, a Grammy Award winner, and a platinum record selling bass player. He's performed with acts spanning multiple genres, including most notably Parliament-Funkadelic, James Brown and Buckethead.
Collins says he owes his success to those who paved the way for artists like him. When he was only 15, he became a staff musician at Cincinnati's legendary King Records.
"I learned how to learn from these great people," Collins said. "I never looked at myself as great, to this day. None of that means really anything to me. I'm just glad to be amongst my people."
Otis Williams recorded with his group The Charms for King Records back in the day. During his career, he landed multiple top 10 hits on the R&B charts.
"Cincinnati has been very good to us and we've been good to Cincinnati," Williams said. "We've done a lot of work here and we'll do more."
Williams' son, Kent Butts, serves as the chair of the King Records Legacy Committee. He says the Walk of Fame isn't just about preserving the city's Black musical history, but educating future generations.
"They don't need a gun in their hand, they need a trumpet in their hand," Butts said. "They need a saxophone in their hand. They need something that they can do and understand there's another way."
CVG will host the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame stars at its baggage claim area while the outdoor interactive park is being constructed.
In July, a kick-off ceremony announced the inaugural inductees. The new space will be dedicated exclusively to recognizing influential Black musicians from Southwest Ohio. Commissioners voted to use $9 million in federal stimulus to build the park in front of the ICON Music Center. It's expected to be complete by July 2022.