From PRNewswire/ Society of Voice Arts and Sciences
George Lucas, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Mark Hamill, Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob) and Lana Gordon from Chicago the Musical came out to celebrate a historic night on Broadway at the New World Stages. The 7th Annual Voice Arts® Awards staged a one-night live-stream celebrating the year’s best performances from the global voice acting community. Created by Society of Voice Arts and Sciences, the event also celebrates social advocacy and humanitarianism by those who use their voices for the good of humankind. The livestream was watched by thousands around the world.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. received the Muhammad Ali Voice of Humanity Honor for his life-long clarion call to understand our society through history, evidenced by his Emmy and Peabody Award-winning PBS documentaries on African and African American history, and his hit series Finding Your Roots. Presenting to Dr. Gates was billionaire investor and humanitarian Glenn Hutchins, who founded and chairs the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research of which Gates is Director at Harvard University. LL Cool J and Jodie Foster also made remarks. Gates shook the theater rafters with a stirring speech that brought to life Muhammad Ali’s transformative social impact on the world.
Voice acting virtuoso Mark Hamill received the Voice Arts® Icon Award for his decades of exceptional voice acting, including his unparallel rendition of the Joker, a role that changed his career. Presenting to Hamill was Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants. Tom began by belting out the lyrics to “It’s the best day ever,” the theme song of the SpongeBob series. He was nearly outdone when Star Wars creator George Lucas joined to congratulate Hamill on his well-deserved honor. Lana Gordon and Arian Keddell performed All That Jazz to a virtual standing ovation.
It was the journeyman voice actors, however, who stole the show as presenters opened the sealed envelopes to reveal the winners of 72 categories; video games, animated features, TV commercials, audiobooks, spoken word, toys and AI devices. “It fills my heart to give a boost to the performers and economy of an otherwise dark Broadway,” said Joan Baker co-founder of Society of Voice Arts and Sciences, the 501c3 nonprofit. Presented by Kaotica, and co-sponsored by Comcast NBCUniveral, Schulman Lobel, PBS, LA Vocal Booths, Pandora and JMC Demos.