40 Years of Black Excellence: Chris Tucker & Cathy Hughes Hosting Urban One Honors
On December 5, 2019, many of the biggest African American names in music, television and film celebrated in Prince George’s County in Maryland for the second annual Urban One Honors. The Urban One Honors will be shown on TV on Martin Luther King Day, January 20th, 2020 at 8pm and will have performances from artists in several different music genres. Wale, Brandy, Pastor Charles Jenkins, Eric Benét, and Ne-Yo will be a few of the performers that viewers will see performing and celebrating 40 years of Urban One. Comedian Chris Tucker, will be hosting the awards show, alongside the founder and creator of Urban One, Cathy Hughes.
40 years ago, Cathy Hughes took a step out on faith and created Urban One, which is considered the largest media company in the United States that is black-owned. In 1980, Hughes bought a D.C. radio station for almost a million dollars and decided to call it Radio One. This station wasn’t going to take the typical radio station format with music all day, instead, Radio One would focus on culture and politics, from the perspective of African Americans. In that time period, it was not common to have a show that expressed the perspective of African American entertainers and listeners, like it is now. Several years later, Cathy Hughes went on to buy another radio station, which would be focused on playing rhythm and blues music, better known as R&B music. This was the beginning of a strategy that Radio One would follow for years: buying smaller and not very successful stations in markets that are within the urban community and making them more focused on the surrounding demographic!
Over the next twenty years, Radio One expanded into 22 different markets, and had nearly 18 million listeners! By 2003, they decided that they would work with Comcast and create a TV network, known as TV One, that would be focused on entertaining African Americans between the ages of 25 and 54. Shows like The D.L. Hughley Show, Fatal Attraction, and ATL Homicide are some of the original programs that TV One has aired, but they have also featured many syndicated shows as reruns, such as The Cosby Show, The Jeffersons and Everybody Hates Chris.
In 2018, Radio One decided to change their name to Urban One, and will still work on entertaining urban communities through television and radio programming, as well as their online ventures.