Steve Aoki is officially the first dance music artist to be recognized by the Asian Hall of Fame. The Japanese Aoki is considered to be the first Asian DJ and music producer to become known worldwide in the EDM field.
The November 13 induction ceremony will also honor nine other Asian pioneers, including Indra Nooyi, the first CEO of a Fortune 50 company to identify as a woman, a black woman, and an immigrant; and Ken Jeong, the actor and comedian best known for his roles in The Hangover, Crazy Rich Asians, and Community, among others.
The 2021 cohort will join big names like Bruce Lee, Connie Chung, Kristi Yamaguchi and Daniel Dae Kim, all of whom have been enrolled in recent years.
Established in 2004, the Asian Hall of Fame is a global leader in promoting Asian excellence and racial justice. The organization is also a staunch supporter of the Stop Asian Hate movement. Initiatives include trauma recovery, promoting media equity, and early career development. Aoki himself took the campaign under his wing and published a series of “Stop Asian Hate” merch earlier this year.
Check out the full list of 2021 Asian Hall of Fame Members below, listed in alphabetical order.
- Steve Aoki: First Asian DJ producer to achieve worldwide recognition in electronic dance music and son of Benihana founder Hiroaki "Rocky" Aoki.
- Tani Cantil-Sakauye: First Filipino American Woman Chief Justice of California.
- Phil Chen: Jamaican Order of Distinction bass guitarist for Eric Clapton, Bob Marley, Robby Krieger and other legends.
- Ren Hanami: Japanese-Hawaiian actress and national chairman of the SAG-AFTRA Asian Pacific American Media Committee.
- Ken Jeong: actor, comedian, producer, doctor and advocate of Asian representation in national narratives.
- Sumi Jo: Legendary coloratura and first Asian soprano nominated for an Oscar for best song. First classical musician and Korean national team.
- Nancy Kwan: Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. First Eurasian cinema icon in Hollywood, Golden Globe winner and cousin of Kevin Kwan.
- Brandon Lee (in memoriam): Martial artist, actor and son of Bruce Lee.
- Dr. Linda Liau: Brain Cancer Vaccine Pioneer, First Asian Chair of Neurosurgery Program.
- Indra Nooyi: Former Chairwoman and CEO of PepsiCo. First woman, colored woman and CEO of a Fortune 50 company with a migrant background. Author of My Life in Full Memoirs and first Indian recruit.
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