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Jermaine Dupri to be Honored with Prestigious Otis & Zelma Redding Award at King of Soul Music Festival

Photo Courtesy So So Def Recordings
The Otis Redding Foundation is gearing up for the second edition of its annual King of Soul Music
Festival, a two-day celebration honoring the legendary "King of Soul" on what would have been his 82nd birthday. The event, set to take place on September 8-9, aims to commemorate Redding's timeless musical legacy while raising vital funds for the Otis Redding Center of the Arts.

Ahead of the event, the foundation announced that it will be honoring So So Def Recordings founder Jermaine Dupri with the Otis & Zelma Redding Award of Respect. Karla Redding-Andrews, vice president, and executive director of the Otis Redding Foundation expressed enthusiasm for this year's festival, particularly in recognizing Dupri with the organization's highest honor.

"We have known JD since he was a young man visiting the Big ‘O’ Ranch with his Dad and are so proud of his remarkable contributions to the music industry as a songwriter, award-winning producer, DJ, CEO of So So Def, and entrepreneur," she said. "He was very close to my brother, Otis III, who passed away in April, and credits him with teaching him to make beats. JD aligns with Otis Redding’s spirit and the Foundation’s mission to inspire and empower young artists.”

For Dupri, the award holds profound significance, as it acknowledges the significant influence of Otis Redding III in shaping his skills in beat-making. In a humble response, Dupri expressed deep gratitude, recognizing the honor as a mutual appreciation between him and the Redding family.

"While I understand the family is honoring me, in my mind, I am also honoring them for all they have allowed me to do, see, and be a part of at a time when they didn't have to," said Dupri.

The festival will commence with "An Evening of Respect" concert at the Macon City Auditorium on September 8, featuring the Orchestra Noir. The performance will not only pay tribute to Otis Redding but also celebrate the rich cultural contributions of African American music pioneers across various genres, including classical, jazz, blues, hip-hop and R&B.

The festivities continue on September 9 with "The Big 'O' Homecoming Show & Dance" at the Capitol Theatre, boasting a diverse lineup of famed artists and musicians. Each act is set to deliver performances that honor the enduring musical legacy of Otis Redding.

Founded in 2007, the Otis Redding Foundation mission is to empower and inspire young individuals through innovative educational programs centered around music, writing and instrumentation. The foundation's annual Otis Music Camp, catered to ages 12-18, and Camp DREAM, designed for children aged 5-11, stand as shining examples of its commitment to nurturing aspiring talent

Redding achieved worldwide acclaim during the 1960s with timeless hits like "Sittin' On The Dock of the Bay" and "Try a Little Tenderness." Though tragically taken from the world in a plane crash in December 1967, his soulful voice and impassioned performances continue to inspire generations of artists.

For more information about the festival, ticket sales, and the Otis Redding Foundation, visit

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