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Orchestra for Rihanna’s “Diamonds” Recorded at Ocean Way

Rickey Minor and Chris Walden Head Up 50-piece Date for AMA Icon Award

Pictured in Ocean Way's historic Studio A are (L-R) assistant engineer Wesley Seidman, recording engineer Steve Genewick, arranger/conductor Chris Walden, producer Rickey Minor, and contractor Ernie Fields, Jr. Photo by David Goggin.

A 50-piece orchestra assembled at Ocean Way’s historic Studio A to record orchestral arrangements of Rihanna’s smash hit “Diamonds” for the first-ever Icon Award presented during the recent American Music Awards broadcast.

“Producer Rickey Minor (Tonight Show with Jay Leno) called and asked me to write and conduct the orchestral arrangements over Rihanna’s existing rhythm tracks for her song ‘Diamonds’,” commented 4-time Grammy nominee Chris Walden. “Our contractor Ernie Fields, Jr. put together a great group of musicians for a really exciting session with Rickey at the helm and Steve Genewick engineering.”

The award presentation during the broadcast came after Bill Maher made the announcement as emcee, “She has become, I think, the voice of our time.” A video commemoration from Jay Z and a video montage showing her career highlights was followed by the special performance of her song “Diamonds.” Rihanna then accepted the Icon Award, which was presented to her by her mother, Monica Braithwaite. Following thanks to a group of people including Jay Z and producer Antonio “L.A.” Reid, she ended her speech, “I can’t believe that at 25 years old I’m holding an Icon award.”

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