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Solange Chosen as Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year

Solange will be honored at a Harvard Foundation award ceremony in March.

Brooklyn Riepma

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The Harvard Foundation has selected Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Solange Knowles as its Artist of the Year.

Every year, the Harvard Foundation’s student and faculty choose an artist to be honored. Past recipients of the title have included artists such as Shakira, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Matt Damon, Jackie Chan and John Legend. The Foundation’s mission is to promote diversity, inclusion and equity throughout Harvard University’s community.

Solange is a distinguished artist who landed her first No. 1 album on the Billboard Top 200 chart with her 2016 release “A Seat on the Table.” In 2017, she also received a Billboard Impact Award and was named one of Glamour’s Women of the Year. In December, she announced in an Instagram post that her New Year’s Eve show in South Africa would be canceled due to her struggles with an autonomic disorder.

Wrote, deleted and re wrote this like 5 times… Still not sure what exactly or how much I want to share… However it’s so important to me for the people in South Africa, a place that has tremendous meaning to me and that has given me SO SO MUCH, to know why I won’t be performing at Afro Punk this NYE. The past five months I have been quietly treating, and working through an Autonomic Disorder. It been a journey that hasn’t been easy on me… Sometimes I feel cool, and other times not so cool at all. It’s a complicated diagnoses , and I’m still learning so much myself, but right now, my doctors are not clearing me for such an extended lengthy flight, and doing a rigorous show right after. I can’t put into words how saddened and sorry I am that I am unable to perform for you guys this NYE, there is simply no other place I wanted to be than there with my family to bring in 2018 with you…….but I give you my ABSOLUTE WORD I will come back with AfroPunk and deliver this performance…..as it is so extremely important to me to connect with the people who have so closely inspired me in so many ways. I can’t thank Afro Punk enough for their support, and to all of the other festivals this past summer/fall who have known about my health, kept it confidential, and gone out of their way to make me feel supported while doing these shows. As a part of the self care that I’ve tried to encourage this past year, it needs to start with myself, and I’m looking forward to doing a better job of this 2018. This past year has been one of the most fulfilling of my life… Performing this record and experiencing the energy exchange with you guys has been astounding, and I’m so excited about continuing to do the work I feel so absolutely humbled and appreciative to be doing next year. It gives me life.

A post shared by Solange (@saintrecords) on

However, Solange is not going to let that stop her. “Performing this record and experiencing the energy exchange with you guys has been astounding, and I’m so excited about continuing to do the work I feel so absolutely humbled and appreciative to be doing next year. It gives me life,” she explained in her post.

Solange will be recognized at the Foundation’s Cultural Rhythms Festival annual award ceremony on Saturday, March 3. The festival celebrates cultural and ethnic diversity at Harvard and is attended by over 2,000 people each year.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

Brooklyn Riepma is a Boise-based journalist and student. She is a junior at The College of Idaho majoring in Political Economy with minors in Creative writing, Natural Sciences, and Journalism.

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