DJ D-Nice to energize Magic City Classic 2021 at parade, post-game show – AL.com

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D-Nice arrives at the BET Awards on Sunday, June 27, 2021, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The DJ, known for his Club Quarantine events, has been announced as the celebrity ambassador and post-game performer for the 2021 Magic City Classic in Birmingham.(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
D-Nice, the DJ who earned fame for his Club Quarantine dance parties on Instagram Live, will be the celebrity ambassador and post-game performer at this year’s Magic City Classic.
He’ll appear as the grand marshal for the Classic parade on Oct. 30 in downtown Birmingham and entertain the crowd after the football game that day at Legion Field. Traditionally, the parade’s grand marshal also makes an appearance during the halftime festivities of the historic HBCU matchup, which pits Alabama A&M University against Alabama State University.
D-Nice, a New York City native whose offstage name is Derrick Jones, announced his Classic plans on Friday via Instagram. “I’m the official 2021 McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola Grand Marshal and post game concert artist,” he said in a post. “It’s happening in Birmingham, Alabama on October 30th, 2021. I’m looking forward to participating.”
A post shared by D-Nice (@dnice)
Organizers for the Magic City Classic also announced the news on social media, touting the participation of a DJ who’s energized and entertained thousands of people with his Club Quarantine events during the coronavirus pandemic.
D-Nice has about 2.7 million followers on Instagram, where he presents marathon DJ sessions intended for folks who might be bored, frustrated, stuck at home or simply craving vibrant dance music during COVID.
“I don’t want to think of myself as an essential worker, but I know that there are people out here that truly needed this experience to still feel connected to people,” D-Nice said in a 2020 interview with PBS NewsHour. “I really do sign on most times to do it for them, to give them a place, to just have a great conversation, to hear music and to keep their day inspired.”
Club Quarantine, which celebrated its one-year anniversary in March, has drawn up to 150,000 viewers for some of its livestream events and earned kudos from fans such as Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Lenny Kravitz and Lalah Hathaway.
D-Nice was named Entertainer of the Year at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards in March and received an ASCAP Voice of the Culture Award in June for creating a virtual event that became a “touchstone of empowerment for the community during the pandemic.” He also received a special “Shine a Light Award” for Club Quarantine at the 2020 BET Awards.
The artist started his career as a rapper and beatboxer in the late 1980s, performing in the influential hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions with KRS-One and DJ Scott La Rock. He signed with Jive Records and released two solo albums in the ‘90s, “Call Me D-Nice” and “To tha Rescue.” D-Nice later turned to photography and built his reputation as a DJ.
A post shared by D-Nice (@dnice)
D-Nice is the latest in a long list of celebrity ambassadors for the Magic City Classic, following in the footsteps of stars such as Don Cheadle, Ice Cube, Rickey Smiley, Tom Joyner, LL Cool J, Wendy Williams, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson and Willie Mays.
Birmingham comedian Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson will be the emcee for the Classic this year, according to the event website, but other celebrity participants haven’t been announced. See the official schedule of events and ticket info here.
Stars from the entertainment and sports worlds usually come to town for a full weekend of events surrounding the Magic City Classic, appearing at tailgate parties, block parties, bars, nightclubs and other venues in Birmingham.
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