Kardi Named This Year’s Walk of Fame Allan Slaight Impact Honouree
Canada’s Walk of Fame today announces Kardinal Offishall as this year’s recipient of the Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour, an annual recognition that celebrates the achievements of Canadian musici
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Canada’s Walk of Fame today announces Kardinal Offishall as this year’s recipient of the Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour, an annual recognition that celebrates the achievements of Canadian musicians who have used their voices and talent to inspire and drive positive impact in the music industry.
A multi-award-winning Canadian music icon, producer, A&R executive, and philanthropist, Kardi (as friends call him) has been and continues to be a significant force in shaping Canada’s hip-hop scene and a champion of emerging homegrown talent.
He will be honoured at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Canada’s Walk of Fame during a star-studded tribute to the 2023 Inductees and Honourees at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Saturday, December 2, 2023.
Internationally respected as one of Canada’s most energetic and innovative talents, Offishall has long been a staple in the global music scene. His dedication to spotlighting and praising Canadian hip-hop has paved the way for artists who followed in his wake. His collaborations with international superstars include such hit records as Beautiful with Akon, Just Dance with Lady Gaga, and Numba 1 with Rihanna. He made history when his monster classic Dangerous peaked at no. 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts, making him the first Canadian rapper to do so. His talents now extend beyond the music industry, adding TV star to his repertoire as a judge on Canada’s Got Talent.
He has also continued to be a cultural and musical ambassador for a new wave of Canadian superstars. His collaborations with industry heavyweights include Drake, K’naan, Daniel Caesar, Boi-1da, and Glenn Lewis. His music has also been featured on Dave Chappelle’s Netflix comedy special Equanimity. As an artist, Kardinal influenced the early careers of Rihanna, Alex Da Kid, T-Pain, Vybz Kartel, Estelle, and Sean Paul, to name a few.
As a philanthropist, he hosts the annual Kardi Christmas Party charity event, now in its 23rd year, raising thousands for community initiatives and causes, including 30-elephants.com, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), The Breast Cancer Society of Canada, and Free The Children. He’s a founding member of Advance, a non-profit Canadian Black Music Business Collective that advocates, mentors, supports and provides tangible opportunities for Black community members working in all areas of the Canadian music industry. During his tenure while serving as Canada’s first Black Senior VP of A&R at a major label (Universal Music Canada), he established the Black Label Coalition, securing funds for various charities.
Beyond this, his roles include Executive, alongside Rapper, Producer and Philanthropist, and he serves as Global A&R at Def Jam Records.
On behalf of the board of directors of Canada’s Walk of Fame, Randy Lennox said, “Kardinal is a triple threat to Canada’s vibrant music scene. A musician, producer and A&R executive, he has entertained fans with his talent and shared his insights, lent his expertise and helped break down barriers to empower emerging Canadian musicians in a highly competitive global industry for nearly three decades. We proudly recognize his passion, dedication and contributions to Canada’s cultural landscape as the 2023 Allan Slaight Music Impact Honouree.”
“I am thrilled to hear that Kardinal Offishall will be receiving the Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour this year,” says Gary Slaight, President & CEO of The Slaight Family Foundation. “Throughout his career, my father Allan championed Canadian artists going back to when Gordon Lightfoot was starting, and in later years with the creation of Slaight Music that has fostered the discovery and development of many homegrown artists. Notably, he also built a broadcasting empire that included radio and television. While doing this, he never wavered in his philanthropic support, donating tens of millions of dollars to the Canadian Arts and organizations that offered support to the needy in Canada and in developing countries. Kardi, in his way, has pushed for the betterment of new artists, raised money to help those in need, and accomplished greatness in his career. For all of this, I am proud to say I have known Kardi for many years and that I genuinely can’t think of anyone more deserving to receive this special recognition. Congratulations, Kardi.”
Launched in 2010, the Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour is an annual recognition that celebrates the achievements of Canadian musicians who have used their voices and talent to inspire and drive positive impact in the music industry. Honourees include Arkells (2022), Serena Ryder (2021), Alessia Cara (2019), Jesse Reyez (2018), Shawn Hook (2017), Brett Kissel (2016), Shawn Mendes (2015), The Weeknd (2014), Carly Rae Jepsen (2013), Melanie Fiona (2012), Drake (2011), and Nikki Yanofsky (2010).