Recording Academy and Former BET CEO Debra Lee Launch Music Scholarship After Late Son

The late Quinn Coleman, 31, was an impactful advocate for the next generation of Black music creators. Coleman served as senior director of A&R at Capitol Records, where he signed the group Brasstracks, and made an impression on everyone around him. On Tuesday, June 22, in celebration of Black Music Month, his mother Debra Lee, the Grammy Museum, and the Recording Academy announced a new multi-year college scholarship and internship program that aims to support future Black music creators.

The Quinn Coleman Scholarship and supplemental internship program will provide financial support and career development opportunities that will help college students prepare for post-graduate, full-time employment. Lee, the former BET Networks chairwoman and CEO, said about her son in a statement, “Quinn’s creativity defied labels and expectations. In the mixing of songs shared during nights as ‘DJ Spicoli,’ in the creation of his genre-blending festival Trillectro, which brought together musicians rarely placed together on the same lineup, and in countless other collaborations and projects. Quinn had the foresight to create connections that others didn’t see coming. I am honored to have this internship and scholarship program named after my son, Quinn.”

Beginning next year, the Grammy Museum will annually select one Black college student per city in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City and Washington, D.C., or surrounding areas, pursuing a career in music, or other related fields, to receive the newly announced opportunity. “Quinn had a passion for helping young Black music creators and artists,” she continued. “This program will help keep his legacy alive.” 

A total of five Black college students will be selected to receive the scholarship each year.

Each of those annually selected students will receive a tuition scholarship, book and equipment stipend, money to invest in a personal portfolio and an interview preparation stipend. They will also be afforded a chance to work with the Grammy Museum, the Recording Academy, and their affiliated chapters along with a paid summer internship.

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Quinn’s family and friends all remarked on his dedication to amplifying the next generation of creators. In a statement, Michael Sticka, president of the Grammy Museum, remarked, “The music industry, Quinn’s family and friends and the general public came together to donate funds in memory of Quinn with the aim to impact the future of music.” 

More details regarding the Quinn Coleman Scholarship and supplementary internship program, including eligibility requirements, will be announced in Spring 2022. Visit the official Grammy Museum website to learn more and donate.

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