By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, LONDON, England, Weds Nov. 23, 2022: Several Black Britons with roots in the Caribbean have made it onto the 2023 Powerlist, an annual directory of the 100 most influential people of African or African Caribbean heritage in the United Kingdom.
The annual chart of the UK’s influential people of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage was created in 2007 to honor role models. It is regarded as a leading authority on Black influence in the UK, the Powerlist is open to Black Britons across the globe as well as Black UK residents.
Heading the list is Dame Sharon White, Chair of the John Lewis Partnership, who was born in East London to Jamaican parents and attended Cambridge University to study economics before embarking on a dazzling career in the civil service. At 8th is Paulette Simpson CBE, who was born in Britain but raised between Jamaica and Manchester by her grandmother before studying business at the University of Sterling
She is Executive, Corporate Affairs and Public Policy, Jamaica National Bank and Executive Director, The Voice. She was awarded a CBE in 2020 – and she is deputy chair of both the Windrush Advisory Panel and the Windrush Commemoration Committee.
Riki Bleau, founder of Since ’93 Records is the only Dominican to make it to the 2023 Powerlist.
Also making the list is the son of Dominicans from the Commonwealth of Dominica, music executive, Riki Bleau, founder of Since ’93 Records is the only Dominican to make it to the 2023 Powerlist.
“It’s really an honor to be on this esteemed list,” commented Bleau, adding that “as the son of immigrants it makes me proud to have achieved this and I hope that it can inspire not only UK citizens of Dominican descent, but born-and-bred Dominicans too that there really is no limit to your talent and that there is a reward for your efforts.”
Bleau, who was born in London, is the son of Joseph and Edmay Caprice-Bleau from Scotts Head. He got his start in music at Channel U, a then ground-breaking youth culture platform in the U.K.
Finding his niche in publishing, Bleau signed platinum selling producer, writer and artist Labrinth, genius producer Naughty Boy, noted singer/songwriter Emeli Sandé and mega star Sam Smith. A testament to his success is his 2011 publisher of the year Ivor Novello Award presented by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Bleau is also part of the management team of Afrobeats superstar Wizkid and Jamaican Dancehall phenom Popcaan, and is founder and co-president of his Sony Joint venture label Since ’93 Records.
Over the decades, Bleau has cemented himself as a curator of Black British music, lifestyle and culture and his influence and reach has grown steadily. His experience in the international space can be of great benefit to local industry players and he is actively looking forward to making his mark on the Dominican music industry having already begun the process by meeting with Executive members of the Association of Music Professionals (AMP), Discover Dominica CEO Colin Piper and Minister for Trade Ian Douglas.
Bleau was listed under the category Media, Publishing, Entertainment and Sports, joining the likes of footballers Raheem Sterling whose roots are Jamaican and Marcus Rashford, whose family hails from St. Kitts; as well as actors Sir Lenny Henry, of Jamaican heritage.
Also under this category are Akala – a poet and activist with a Jamaican background and Vanessa Kingori MBE, Chief Business Officer, Condé Nast Britain and Vogue European Business Advisor, who was born in Kenya and raised in St. Kitts.
Also making the list in Art and Fashion is Jamaican roots Dame Pat McGrath, DBE, a make-up artist and founder, Pat McGrath Labs.
Apart from the top ten on the list, the other awardees are ranked in no particular order and are organized under the headings, Arts, Fashion and Design; Business, Corporate, Financiers & Entrepreneurs; Politics, Law and Religion; Public, Third Sector and Education; Science, Medicine and Engineering and lastly, Technology.
The Powerlist 2023 is published by Powerful Media and is sponsored by PwC, BP, the Executive Leadership Council, The London Stock Exchange Group, Meta, and Mastercard. The 2023 cohort was celebrated on Friday October 28th at the Powerlist Black Excellence Awards hosted by Colin Salmon at London’s Savoy hotel.
Click HERE to view the full list.