Urban Nation Music founder and CEO Rickey Payton was born June 6, 1959 in Washington, D.C., the son of Dazelle Inez Mourning Payton and William Lee Payton, Sr. He started taking piano lessons in kindergarten at Parkview Elementary School. Inspired by Rance Allen, Al Green and Stevie Wonder, Payton played “Walk Him Up” from Purlie, by ear, for his 5th grade assembly at Raymond Elementary School and continued to excel in music through Lincoln Junior High School. In 1972, he composed music for NBC’s The Sunshine Store. While at Cardoza High School, Payton scored the Emmy Award winning documentary New Cotton Club Review before he graduated in 1977. Attending Howard University, Payton majored in music, business administration, and studied entertainment law. Payton was selected to study and...
CivicMakers have contributed substantially to their communities either by working for local governments, leading nonprofit organizations, or through activism and other forms of civic leadership and engagement. HistoryMakers in this category include civil rights activists, community volunteers, civil service workers, firefighters, social workers, and nonprofit leaders and emloyees, among many others.