LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 19, 2023–
City of Hope ®, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, honored Lyor Cohen, global head of Music at YouTube and Google, tonight at its Music, Film and Entertainment Industry (MFEI) fundraising group’s Spirit of Life ® Gala. The annual event featured a special performance from LL Cool J and DJ Jazzy Jeff, plus a curated “DJ Cassidy’s Pass The Mic Live!” segment with – in order of appearance – Slick Rick, Kurtis Blow, Big Daddy Kane, MC Serch, Nice ‘N Smooth,EPMD, Redman, Onyx, Warren G, Domino, Musiq Soulchild, Dru Hill, Ja Rule, T.I., Swizz Beatz and Public Enemy.
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City of Hope®, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, honored Lyor Cohen, global head of Music at YouTube and Google, on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, at its Music, Film and Entertainment Industry (MFEI) fundraising group’s Spirit of Life® Gala. Led by Cohen, MFEI raised over $4.3 million to benefit City of Hope’s efforts to address the challenges underserved populations face in obtaining access to quality cancer care. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for City of Hope)
This year’s Spirit of Life campaign culminated at the sold-out gala held at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Led by Cohen, MFEI raised over $4.3 million to benefit City of Hope’s efforts to address the challenges underserved populations face in obtaining access to quality cancer care. The dollars raised are a significant achievement during a milestone year as City of Hope celebrates 50 years of philanthropic partnership with MFEI. Over the course of this half-century, the group has raised over $150 million to transform the future of cancer care through best-in-class patient care, innovative research and vital education focused on eliminating cancer and diabetes.
“As we aim to close the care gap and eliminate inequity between the innovation taking place at top cancer centers and the people who can access these medical breakthroughs, collaboration helps make this possible,” said City of Hope CEO Robert Stone, the Helen and Morgan Chu Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair.
“It’s incredible to see so many members of the music community gathered in one place with the single purpose of fighting cancer for all,” said Kristin Bertell, chief philanthropy officer at City of Hope. “The legacy of philanthropy and partnership with the music and entertainment industries has supported City of Hope in making great strides to expand access to top cancer care, and we are so grateful.”
A short video opened the program, transporting guests back in time, commemorating 50 years of hope and music, and recognizing honorees from Spirit of Life galas of the past.
Evan Lamberg, MFEI board president and president of Universal Music Publishing Group, then welcomed over 900 guests in attendance, including artists Jay-Z, Diddy, Ludacris, Master P, Gunna, Jermaine Dupri, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, past Spirit of Life honorees Sir Lucian Grainge, Monte and AveryLipman, Jon Platt, Sylvia Rhone, and music industry executives Julie Greenwald, Craig Kallman, Robert Kyncl, Coach K, Pierre “P” Thomas, Jody Gerson, Tom Corson, Aaron Bay-Schuck, Tunji Balogun and many more.
“Cancer doesn’t take a break and neither does City of Hope and its Music, Film and Entertainment Industry group,” Lamberg said. “Lyor Cohen and his team have done a phenomenal job on this year’s Spirit of Life event, and for that we are so very grateful. He has led the charge and mission to further City of Hope’s initiative when it comes to closing the gap for all underserved groups affected by health care inequities, as well as to continuing our frontline battle against cancer.”
Founded more than a century ago to serve people who had trouble accessing high-quality, effective medical care, City of Hope has a strategic vision to expand access to optimal cancer care, push the envelope in the development of the next generation of cancer discovery, treatment and science, and expand efforts to rapidly translate research and discovery into the clinical care setting. Its national system of provider and research entities now serves approximately 131,000 patients each year across a network of locations in California, Arizona, Illinois and Georgia.
After celebratory remarks for the industry and Cohen, Stone introduced John Carpten, Ph.D., director of City of Hope’s National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, director of Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, chief scientific officer and the Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair.
“Too many people needlessly suffer due to lack of access to the latest medical innovations and systemic barriers that prevent them from getting the best cancer care,” Carpten said. “At City of Hope, we are working to carry out solutions that increase the likelihood that every person living with cancer — regardless of race or region — can get the best care.”
A series of powerful, true stories as told by City of Hope patients and family members who have faced cancer head-on followed.
- “There is nothing more precious than time,” said Sean Frankenheimer, founder of The Difference Entertainment and co-president of City of Hope’s Future Hope. “Few people understand this more than someone with a dim prognosis. City of Hope provides innovative cancer treatment and compassionate care that often results in the greatest gift of all-time.”
- “The thing about cancer is that it doesn’t keep a timeline,” said Katie Robinson, head of marketing at Elektra Entertainment and survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I wondered, ‘How am I going to be there for my 3-year-old daughter?’ But the fear disappeared for me the moment I walked into City of Hope. From the 24-hour, seven-days a week hotline to the patient liaison I could reach out to at any time, I was never alone.”
- “It’s undeniable that my access to cancer screenings and treatment options saved my life, but sadly that’s not the reality for far too many who share my background,” said Jonathan Azu, founder and CEO of Culture Collective and MFEI board member. “This is precisely where City of Hope comes into play, showcasing their commitment to reducing disparities within the Black community.”
Then, Letitia Frye, known as America’s foremost “auctiontainer,” took the stage to inspire guests to fund City of Hope’s efforts to find solutions for health equity — so that anyone facing cancer has the opportunity to get top-tier care — no matter where they live or what they look like.
After a successful paddle-raise, the party got started with evening’s host NORE, who then introduced a one-time-only edition of “DJ Cassidy’s Pass The Mic Live!,” featuring performances by over a dozen hip-hop and R&B icons spanning Cohen’s career, previously mentioned.
Chuck D presented Cohen with City of Hope’s Spirit of Life Award, restating the icon’s role in the rise of hip-hop. Cohen is a fitting honoree to recognize this year, as the hip-hop community also reaches its 50 th anniversary landmark.
In accepting the award, Cohen said, “Thank you, Chuck, and thank you to all my artists that without them there would be no me, or many of you for that matter. We came here tonight to eradicate cancer, but wouldn’t it be incredible if we could also eradicate hate.” Cohen went on to speak passionately about the events in Israel. He expressed gratitude for his family, for a lifetime of colleagues, including Julie Greenwald, Craig Kallman, Kevin Liles and Ahmet Ertugon, his colleagues at YouTube, including Susan Wojcicki, Neal Mohan and Mary Ellen Coe, for the great music and the great artists. Cohen’s gratitude extended to City of Hope, adding, “To City of Hope and all the doctors, nurses and employees — let’s end cancer, and on the way, let’s make your magic more accessible to people of color by investing in ways to reach them. We CAN close the gap.”
As City of Hope’s most prestigious honor, The Spirit of Life Award is presented to industry leaders around the world who have made a significant commitment to improving the lives of others through the advancement of research and clinical innovation and the delivery of personalized, compassionate care. Honorees are selected for their notable contributions to the community in which they live and the profession in which they work.
To conclude the evening program, guests were surprised with a special performance by LL Cool J and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Kid Capri, American DJ and rap artist, continued the celebration with an after-party set.
For photo highlights of the evening, please use the following link:
(Photo Credit: Getty Images for City of Hope)
About Lyor Cohen
Lyor Cohen is an American music industry executive who has helped shape the evolution of the music business over the course of his career and is currently the global head of Music at YouTube and Google.
As a 21-year-old living in New York City working for Rush Productions, Cohen felt the power and pull of the arts and the cultural movement being built around rap and hip-hop music; it was all about inclusivity, not exclusivity. From his time as road manager for Run DMC and the Beastie Boys, to developing the prestige of Def Jam Recordings and selling it to Universal, to managing Island, Mercury and Def Jam, which he merged to create the Island Def Jam Music Group, to becoming the chairman and CEO of Recorded Music for Warner Music Group and then co-founding 300, Cohen’s career has been dedicated to advocating for artists and songwriters, uplifting art and proving to the world that music brings us together more than it separates us. Along the way, Cohen has been intimately involved in the careers of over 100 artists from day one through superstardom.
Cohen sits on the board of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Independent Venue Association, and is an acting director for SCAN-Harbor, a New York-based charity.
About City of Hope’s Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Group
Inspired by the guiding humanitarian principles of City of Hope and motivated by the institution’s commitment to innovative medical research and compassionate patient care, a group of key industry executives founded City of Hope’s Music, Film and Entertainment Industry group in 1973.
In its 50-year history, the group has raised over $150 million for City of Hope and has honored some of the most important figures in the music and entertainment industry.
The Spirit of Life Award is City of Hope’s most prestigious honor and is presented to an esteemed community of industry leaders around the world who have made a significant commitment to improving the lives of others through the advancement of research and clinical innovation and the delivery of personalized, compassionate care.
Past honorees include Shelli and Irving Azoff, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Coran Capshaw, Eddy Cue, Clive Davis, Sir Lucian Grainge, Allen Grubman, Quincy Jones, Rob Light, Monte and Avery Lipman, Doug Morris, Mo Ostin, Bob Pittman, Jon Platt and Sylvia Rhone to name a few.
About City of Hope
City of Hope’s mission is to deliver the cures of tomorrow to the people who need them today. Founded in 1913, City of Hope has grown into one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the U.S. and one of the leading research centers for diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses. City of Hope research has been the basis for numerous breakthrough cancer medicines, as well as human synthetic insulin and monoclonal antibodies. With an independent, National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center at its core, City of Hope brings a uniquely integrated model to patients spanning cancer care, research and development, academics and training, and innovation initiatives. City of Hope’s growing national system includes its Los Angeles campus, a network of clinical care locations across Southern California, a new cancer center in Orange County, California, and treatment facilities in Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix. City of Hope’s affiliated group of organizations includes Translational Genomics Research Institute and AccessHope TM. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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CONTACT: Zen Logsdon
KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: ONCOLOGY GENERAL HEALTH HEALTH MUSIC HOSPITALS GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT CELEBRITY ENTERTAINMENT
SOURCE: City of Hope
Copyright Business Wire 2023.
PUB: 10/19/2023 04:14 AM/DISC: 10/19/2023 04:14 AM