Before his death from AIDS in 1989, choreographer Alvin Ailey rejuvenated and redefined modern dance with a unique style that blended ballet with jazz improvisation and traditional African dance. His masterpiece Revelations has been performed in 71 countries on six continents.
Ailey also broke down barriers for African-American and LGBT participation in the art form, earning him accolades from the NAACP and the Kennedy Center, and a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.
On June 23, Ailey will be among the honorees at Logo Trailblazers Honors, a one-hour event celebrating icons in the struggle for LGBT equality. CNN’s Don Lemon and Empire star Jussie Smollett will present the honor to Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
“I’m proud and grateful that Alvin Ailey will be celebrated during this year’s ’Trailblazer Honors’,” said Battle. “His pioneering and inclusive legacy continues to break down walls, build bridges and embrace all people. As one of the many people impacted by his genius and his generous vision, I’m honored to accept this meaningful award on his behalf.”
Other honorees at Logo Trailblazer Honors include Cyndi Lauper, Cleve Jones and Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan.
Logo Trailblazer Honors airs June 23 at 9/8c on Logo.