Tacoma musician awarded key to the city

Staff writerMarch 6, 2014 

The Tacoma City Council honored a Tacoma-grown musician Tuesday when awarding the key to the city to Derek “DC” Clark.

Councilwoman Victoria Woodards said Clark had just won producer of the year at the annual “Stellar Awards.”

““For gospel music, it is like the Grammys. If we had someone in our community who had won producer of the year for the Grammys, we’d certainly be having a ticker-tape parade and celebrating,” Woodards said.

She also gave a nod to Crystal Aikin, a Tacoma woman who won a competition in 2007 similar to American Idol, but for gospel music, called “Sunday Best.”

But back to Clark. Woodards said “He could live anywhere in the world to produce music but he chose to live in Tacoma and bring international artists in and out of Tacoma.”

Clark, 43, thanked God, the City Council and his family and friends. He was born in Tacoma and graduated from Wilson High School.

“When I travel the globe, I don’t say I’m from Seattle,” Clark said. “I simply tell them that I’m from Tacoma and if they have more questions, I tell them to Google ‘Tacoma.’”

After the meeting, he said earning a key to the city was humbling because locals might not know the significance of his career accomplishments.

“When they recognize you that’s not something to take for granted,” Clark said.

You can view the clip of the presentation on the Tacoma City Council website. Click on the presentation of the key to the city to jump to the spot in the video.

The city doesn’t hand out a key every day. The last key was awarded in 2011 when Mayor Marilyn Strickland presented the key to Dr. Dung Xuan Nguyen at the Vietnamese New Year Celebration, for his decades of service to the Vietnamese Community of Tacoma-Pierce County, according to the mayor’s office.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542

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