CINCINNATI — Four Cincinnati artists will forever have a permanent place in the Queen City in the form of a star.
Artists Penny Ford, Hi-Tek, Midnight Star and Wilbert Longmire will be inducted into the Black Music Walk of Fame in downtown Cincinnati. They have all achieved international fame in dance, pop R&B, hip-hop and jazz music.
“It's just exciting — we now have eight who are inducted into the Walk of Fame," said Hamilton County Commissioner Alicia Reece, founder of the Walk of Fame. "We have our founding members Bootsy Collins, Dr. Charles Fold, Otis Williams and The Isley Brothers."
The new attraction will debut on July 23 during the Cincinnati Music Festival.
“Cleveland has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” Reece said. "We have the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame."
Reece hopes the Walk of Fame will attract international travelers.
“The vision is for it to be a tourist attraction that will draw people from all over the globe to come to Cincinnati to see and learn about the history, but do it in a fun way," Reece said. "It's going to have stars like Hollywood stars but these stars will be interactive."
There will be QR codes, video content and augmented reality to help people learn about the artists. Reece said she hopes aspiring artists will read their stories and never give up on their dream.
“I think they can learn their story before the glory,” Reece said. “Maybe if you learn about their stories you’ll say oh I can make it, I can do it, I can be from here and be a global icon and a star to impact music across the world.”
The Walk of Fame will be free and located next to the Andrew J. Brady Center.