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Gladys Knight, Beverly Johnson, Dr. Steve Perry Among Those Honored At 10th Annual McDonald's® 365Black® Awards In New Orleans

Recording artists Yolanda Adams and Angie Stone pay tribute to recipients for dedicationto strengthening communities

NEW ORLEANS, July 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Entertainers, community leaders and more than 2,500 consumers flocked to the New Orleans Theater at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center yesterday to salute this year's recipients of the McDonald's 365Black Awards. The awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. The 10 th annual awards honored legendary recording artist and "Empress of Soul" Gladys Knight; supermodel Beverly Johnson; education leader Dr. Steve Perry; executive vice president of the Chicago White Sox Kenny Williams; McDonald's owner/operator Roland Parrish; teen entrepreneur Leanna Archer; and youth environmentalist Charles Orgbon.

(Photo:   http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130707/CG43268-a )(Photo:   http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130707/CG43268-b )(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130707/CG43268-c )(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130707/CG43268-d )(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130707/CG43268-e )(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130707/CG43268-f  )(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130707/CG43268-g )(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130707/CG43268-h )(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130707/CG43268-i  )

"It is an honor to be recognized alongside these remarkable individuals," said singer and philanthropist Gladys Knight. "By lending a hand to others, we can all help create environments of strength and compassion that enrich our neighborhoods, regardless of who we are or where we live."

McDonald's 365Black Awards launched in 2003 as an extension of the company's 365Black platform, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African-Americans year-round. This year's event was hosted by award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson and held in conjunction with ESSENCE Festival™ weekend.

Prior to the ceremony, actress/comedian Kym Whitley covered the celebrity action from the "golden" carpet. Comedian Jonathan Slocumb  opened the show and got the crowd in the mood for musical stylings of recording artists Erica Campbell, Estelle, Angie Stone, Jordin Sparks and Yolanda Adams. Actors Jay Ellis and Omari Hardwick, actress Robinne Lee, singer/songwriter LeToya Luckett and actress/singer Brandy, were among celebrities on-hand to present the illustrious awards to the honorees.

"We applaud this year's honorees for their tireless dedication to serving others. Truly, the contributions of these individuals are integral to strengthening communities on the whole," said Rob Jackson, McDonald's U.S. marketing director. "From McDonald's owner/operators to global superstars, past and present 365Black Awards recipients prove that benevolent work yields positive results."

Consumers nationwide can join in the celebration by watching the McDonald's 365Black Awards broadcast on Black Entertainment Television (BET®) network on Sunday, August 25, at 10 p.m. Central.

About McDonald's McDonald's USA, LLC, is the leading foodservice provider in the United States offering a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to more than 26 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at any of the 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter ( @McDonalds) and Facebook ( Facebook.com/McDonalds) for updates on our business, promotions and menu items.

The following trademarks used herein are owned by McDonald's Corporation and its affiliates: 365Black and McDonald's. ©2013 McDonald's

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