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Krista Wilhelm
African American Arts Institute

Last modified: Monday, April 23, 2012

R&B singer and IU alumnus Kevon Edmonds to receive Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award

April 23, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington's African American Arts Institute is honoring Kevon Edmonds, an IU and Soul Revue alumnus who has gone on to become an accomplished singer and songwriter, with several chart-topping hits to his name.

Kevon Edmonds

Kevon Edmonds

Edmonds will receive the institute's Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award at the IU Soul Revue's 40th Anniversary celebration banquet on Friday, April 27, at the Bloomington Monroe County Convention Center. A large plaque engraved with his name will be mounted on a wall in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.

Herman Hudson, the award's late namesake, founded what was then the Afro-American Arts Institute and was dean for Afro-American affairs at IU. Hudson believed the institute should strive for the highest levels of excellence in performance, and throughout its history, it has nurtured and developed the talents of a diverse array of students who come to IU with varying artistic interests and experience.

As part of its mission, the African American Arts Institute and its ensembles expose IU students to a wide range of musical styles, while giving them tools to be successful in the world of professional performance and beyond.

The Hudson Alumni Award was established in 2005 as part of the anniversary celebration commemorating 30 years of the African American Arts Institute. The award, which is given annually, recognizes former student ensemble and staff members who, after leaving IU, have made outstanding contributions in the arts.

Previous winners have included opera vocalists Janet Williams and Angela Brown, music legend Isaiah Sanders, Broadway performer Justin Johnston and the late dancer Gabriel Paige.

While at IU, Edmonds was a Soul Revue vocalist. He has since become a distinguished singer and songwriter. As lead singer of the vocal group After 7, he took the ensemble to the top 10 singles chart 11 times and twice to No. 1 with "Ready or Not" and "Can't Stop." Signed to Virgin Records, After 7 enjoyed two gold albums, a multi-platinum album and three gold movie soundtracks. Edmonds has been featured performing in the movie "Soul Food."

Since After 7 dissolved, Edmonds has gone on to an accomplished solo career, producing two solo albums, "24/7" and most recently, "Who Knew."

Edmonds' humility allows his music to power the stage, recording only the finest material, putting his heart and soul into each note, and staying true to his musical roots. When asked to define success, he said, "It's how I've been blessed in my lifetime. It's not about material things ... it's about family, friends and the fans. ... They are what make me feel most enriched and have impacted my life in such a positive way. My life is perfect just the way it is because of them, and that's the way my success is measured."

The African American Arts Institute is committed to promoting and preserving African American culture through performance, education, creative activity, research and outreach. For more information and a calendar of AAAI events, visit the African American Arts Institute website or call 812-855-5427. The institute's executive director is Charles E. Sykes. The African American Arts Institute is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.