Rock stars and rocket scientists rock red carpet at American Ingenuity Awards

Rock stars shared the red carpet with Rocket Scientists at the Smithsonian's American Ingenuity Awards.

It was a star-studded event at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Wednesday night. 

Michael Caruso, Editor-in-Chief, Smithsonian Magazine sums it up, "Some people have called this the Golden Globes of of the intellect or the Academy Awards of innovation and that's really what it is - a celebration of American innovation and ingenuity."

People from all different sectors of the business world - from science, technology, entertainment  and more - were honored, including Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer of Apple, Dave Malloy, creator, and Rachel Chavkin, director of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, and Director and Screenwriter Ava DuVernay. 

The red carpet was where all the action was. 

Singer and actor Josh Groban was a presenter.

"This is such a great event and it honors so many great creators in every field who are hoping to expand how we think and how we view the world," he said. 

The youngest honoree was 12-year-old Marley Dias, creator of the movement  #1000BlackGirlBooks. She saw a need for books that included girls that looked just like her.

"I've been able to collect 10,000 books over the campaign and my own book is coming out January 30th 2108," she said. 

John Legend was honored for the performing arts.

"This is about American ingenuity and it's not just about artists and the entertainment business, it's about people who are using their imagination and creativity  and ingenuity to make the world a better and more interesting place," he said. 

Legendary music producer Quincy Jones was a presenter, and he admitted he's also a big John Legend fan.  

"He's just got  it together, he's got the left brain together too. He studied his work - science and soul - you don't have to rehearse emotion," he said. 

This was the 6th annual American Ingenuity Awards to recognize individuals who are transforming American culture. 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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