The Washington Post

Raheem DeVaughn’s birthday present: D.C.’s key to the city

Raheem DeVaughn holds the Key to the City given by Mayor Vincent Gray at the Wilson Building Thursday. (Leigh Vogel/ Getty )

Nice haul for Raheem DeVaughn Thursday: Not only did the Grammy-nominated R&B singer celebrate his 36th birthday, but he scored a key to the city and Mayor Vincent Gray proclaimed May 5th “Raheem DeVaughn Day.”

Joined by a gaggle of city officials, friends and fans, the D.C.-based musician was presented the honors by Gray on the steps of the Wilson Building. DeVaughn looked dapper in a light grey suit and giant black-rimmed glasses. (R&B guys always have the best tailors, don’t they?) Gray made sure to point out that it wasn’t the fun stuff — fame, hit records — that brought DeVaughn to the city hall; it was his work as a community HIV/AIDS activist.

After the ceremony, Gray told our colleague Aaron Leitko he couldn’t think of any other musicians who had received the same honor. “We’ve done something for Chuck Brown, but I can’t emember what it was. He didn’t get a key to the city,” explained the mayor. “We’ve honored Duke Ellington, also. We named a park for him.” (We poked around and found that D.C. native Marvin Gaye got a key back in 1972.)

We asked DeVaughn his plans for his key. “I’m going to put it with the rest of the accolades, man.”

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