Chicago Music Awards honor local entertainers, musicians at anniversary celebration

Jesse White was the guest of honor for transforming the lives of more than 18,000 tumblers
CHICAGO -- For the 40th year, Chicago is honoring its own musical talent, recognizing artists and performers in everything from country to hip-hop.

This year, a guest of honor is a legend for Chicago's ambitious, athletic youth.

Seemingly defying the laws of gravity, the Jesse White Tumblers rocketed into the Chicago Music Awards ceremony, kicking off the anniversary celebration.

Front and center, where he's been for more than 60 years, their founder and leader is being honored for transforming the lives of more than 18,000 tumblers.

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"It's quite an honor. It's a way of saying thanks for a job well done, but I don't have to receive an award to know what I've been doing for a long period of time is the right thing to do," said White, who is also the Illinois Secretary of State. "We put these young people out in this world so they can be a positive force in society."

The late Chicago Blues Icon Jimmy Johnson, and The Chosen Few DJs- known for cultivating dance, also received lifetime achievement awards.

This is a night for Chicago music of all forms.

"There are so many artists that are doing big things right now worldwide, and I am just proud to be a Chicagoan and be able to recognize all these great entertainers and musicians," said presenter, Chicago radio personality, Bioncé Foxx.

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Celebrating the music Chicago's own artists create keeps the city's identity as a diverse music hub intact.

"Why not recognize Chicago talent," said Cesar Rolan, Chicago Music Awards Philanthropist of the Year. "It's these opportunities that really keep us here and support the music that we actually have here."