BB King and Tom Mazzolini were the two winners of the third annual Blues Music Association (BMA) A.G.E.S Awards. The award is presented every May to individuals who have helped members of the blues community "achieve greater economic success." King is the first musician to receive this award.
BMA board member Steve Berkowitz of Sony Music told King that he was
"chosen for being the world's greatest ambassador of the blues, and for using his prestige and drawing power to bring lesser-known blues musicians onto his bandstand as opening acts, and thereby helping the careers of aspiring younger blues artists."
Tom Mazzolini was recognized for the thirty years he has spent producing the
San Francisco Blues Festival, the longest-running blues festival in the United States.
The Blues Music Association was formed in October 1998 in Olive
Branch, Miss., with the following mission: "A professional organization working to achieve greater economic success for the blues by expanding the marketplace for blues music."
The Rosebud Agency's Mike Kappus was honored in 2001, and Bob Koester of Delmark Records was honored in 2000.