NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Indie recording artist Nhojj made OUTMusic Awards history when his ballad “Love” was voted 2009 Outstanding R&B/Soul Song of the Year by The Alliance of LGBT Recording Artists & Performers. This marks the first time an African American male has won an OMA. The Logo sponsored event was held December 8, 2009, at the legendary Webster Hall in New York City. It is the biggest night in LGBT entertainment, and the only gala ceremony of its kind in the world.
Nhojj at the OUTMusic Awards 2009Nhojj is also the first artist to win the OUTStanding R&B/Soul song of the year. OUTMusic added this and other categories to the ceremony this year to more fully reflect the music of the LGBT community. After his win, the singer/songwriter took the stage performing “Love” before an audience including OMA Lifetime Achievement recipient Kevin Aviance, Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, LOGO personalities DeMarco Majors and Julie Goldman among many other notables in the LGBT community. The ceremony was hosted by Noah’s Arc star Rodney Chester and GLAAD Media Award winner Kate Clinton.
“Love” features keyboardist Carl Evans (Stevie Wonder, Barry White); David Stark on Guitar (Rick James & Teena Marie); Tommy Aros on percussion (Luis Miguel); and is mastered by by Robert Honablue, whose Gold and Platinum credits include Santana, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, and Miles Davis.
Director Kirk Shannon-Butts featured "Love" in his highly acclaimed Indie film "Blueprint,” which screened at 2008 Cannes International Film Festival, and also directed the music video “Love.” Unlike many current R&B music videos, it is the sensitive reflection of two male college students who feel a mutual attraction toward each other. "I believe love is for everyone… homosexual and heterosexual" Nhojj says, "One day soon our world will acknowledge this simple truth."
In 2004, Nhojj's sophomore CD “Someday Peace Love & Freedom” was nominated for OUTStanding New Male Recording. Songs on that album covered issues ranging from homelessness to homophobia. Nhojj chose "Fighting for Love," an original composition about a warrior fighting against ignorance and hatred, to perform at a special OMA Nominee showcase held at Fez in NYC that year.
Nhojj grew up in Guyana and Trinidad, where he performed for the Presidents of both countries. He began singing in church at the age of 5, but didn't embark on a career in music until after graduating from NYU with a BA in Economics. Earlier this year he returned to his Caribbean roots and performed "Love" at the 2009 Barbados Music Awards.
To date Nhojj has released six CDs and an unplugged live DVD by Emmy nominated director Bill Cote. He has performed at Lincoln Center, and toured the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to his recording and performance schedule, Nhojj regularly donates his gift of music to people living with HIV/AIDS. He performs in hospitals, hospices, residential facilities and treatment centers throughout New York City , as part of the Lifebeat “Hearts and Voices” program.
List Of Winners:
OUTSTANDING ROCK SONG
(*) Stewed Tomatoes (*) "Leather Daddy"
OUTSTANDING POP SONG
Athena Reich "Love is Love"
OUTSTANDING HIP HOP/RAP SONG
Jasper James "ROCKET"
OUTSTANDING R & B/SOUL SONG
OUTSTANDING ELECTRO/DANCE SONG
Brian Kent "Breathe Life"
OUTSTANDING FOLK/COUNTRY SONG
Blair Hansen & Vicci Martinez "Break Away"
OUTSTANDING JAZZ SONG
Avi Wisnia "No Scrubs"
OUTSTANDING INSTRUMENTAL/SOUNDTRACK SONG
HANNAH FREE, Starring Sharon Gless "Goodby Rachel"
OUTSTANDING CHORAL SONG
San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus "We Looked To The Future"
OUTSTANDING CONTEMPORARY SPIRITUAL SONG
Levi Kreis "Stained Glass Window"
OUTSTANDING THEATRE/CABARET/COMEDY SONG
Terese Genecco "The Man I Love"
OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL SONG
SONiA of disappear fear "shorashim"
Rachael Sage "Vertigo"
Rachael Sage "Chandelier"
OUTSTANDING SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Julie Clark "Courage of Our Convictions"
OUTMUSICIAN OF THE YEAR (Music + Activism)
Scott Free "Free"
Matt Alber "The End of The World"
OUTSTANDING ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Dudley Saunders The Emergency Lane
SONIC BIDS HUMANITARIAN SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR – Blair Hansen
LOGO NEXT GAY ICON 2009 – Adam Lambert
LOGO FIERCELY FASHIONABLE 2009 – Kylie Minogue
LOGO KEEP BRINGIN SEXY BACK 2009 – Pink
OUTMUSIC SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS
Heritage Award – Toshi Reagon
Visionary Award – Dan Martin & Michael Biello
OUTmusic Icon – Willi Ninja
Lifetime Achievement Award – Kevin Aviance
Pillar Award – Deborah Harry
–by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers