The awards dinner took place at New York City’s luxurious Waldorf-Astoria Hotel,was hosted by Bill Cosby and also featured a speech from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell, L.A. Reid and Def Jam Records founder Russell Simmons were in attention, along with Combs’ mother and Voletta Wallace– mother of slain rapper Christopher Wallace better known as Biggie Smalls. Simmons presented Combs with the award.
“I’ve watched Sean from the beginning, and I’m thrilled that he is getting this type of award. “He’s crossed so many boundaries in music, television and movies. He has built so many bridges.” Simmons said.
The evening also featured a special musical performance from R&B singer Chrisette Michelle.
The Robie Award in Industry is the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s highest tribute and recognizes individuals who have expanded access and opportunities for minorities. The foundation itself was founded in 1973 by Robinson’s widow Rachel Robinson and to date has given financial support and scholarships to over 1,400 minority students, helping them to be able to attend colleges nationwide.
Other award recipients included Senior Vice President of The Coca-Cola Company Ingrid Saunders Jones who received the “Robie” Humanitarian award and Joseph R. Perella, CEO & Chairman of Perella Weinberg Partners, who received the Robie Achievement in Industry award as well.