NEW YORK – Critically acclaimed documentary film maker Ken Burns was in attendance to accept the prestigious Muhammad Ali Voice of Humanity Honor at the 2017 Voice Arts Awards presented by at The Society of Voice Arts & Sciences (SOVAS) at Lincoln Center's Fredrick P. Rose Hall on Nov. 5.
This special segment of the Awards featured a tribute to Ken Burns by three time Emmy winner Keith David, who is currently starring in Oprah Winfrey's hit show "Greenleaf" on OWN. Ken's attendance was a highly-anticipated highlight at this year's show, where a packed house stood to their feet to honor his achievements.
"What is so extraordinary about this evening is the name of this award for Muhammad Ali is one of the people who took this world and widened it so that everyone in the world could see, that he spoke his voice even when he no longer had one," Ken Burns said during his inspiring acceptance. "This award was created in collaboration with the Champ himself before his passing and has the full support of the Ali Center. We were truly honored to present this award to the Ken Burns this year," said Emmy® Award-winning producer and SOVAS™ CEO, Rudy Gaskins.
Award winning actress Lily Tomlin also took the stage at this year's event to accept the Voice Arts® Icon Award. Bob Bergen, also known as the voice of Porky Pig, introduced a video of Lily's lifetime achievement in film & television before she was presented with the Award by Society of Voice Arts & Sciences (SOVAS™) founders, Rudy Gaskins and Joan Baker. "I am floored by the caliber of talent and competition tonight," said Lily Tomlin when she took the stage to accept the award.
Music, and stage superstar Deborah Cox brought glamour to this year's red carpet. Deborah was on hand as a presenter as was Inside Edition's Senior Correspondent Les Trent, and legendary voiceover star Nancy Cartwright, best known as the voice of Bart Simpson on Fox's hit show "The Simpsons."
The 2017 Voice Arts® Awards featured more than 50 winners across multiple media genres. Previous award winners include Jon Hamm, Kate Winslet, James Earl Jones, Lena Dunham, and William Shatner.
Good Morning America called the Voice Arts® Awards, "The Oscars of voiceover acting."