Pioneer Awards

The Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Awards Program has recognized over 150 legendary artists whose lifelong contributions have been instrumental in the development of Rhythm & Blues music. This ceremony honors the career achievements of solo artists, vocal groups, songwriters and producers who are nominated and selected by members of our board of directors.  As part of the Pioneer Awards, most recipients receive an honorarium.  Since 1989, the Pioneer Awards Program has given over $1.5 million to worthy honorees and will continue to celebrate legendary Rhythm & Blues artists. 

Click here to find out more about the 2008 Pioneer Awards »

Click on the year to view past recipients.

1997
  • William Bell
  • Gary U.S. Bonds
  • Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
  • Gene Chandler
  • The Four Tops
  • Little Milton
  • Gloria Lynne
  • Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  • Ruby & The Romantics
  • The Spinners
  • Phil Upchurch
  • Van “Piano Man” Walls

2006
2003
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1990-91
1989