STEVIE WONDER TO BE HONORED AT THE APOLLO
THEATER’S 2011 ANNUAL SPRING GALA BENEFIT
CONCERT AND AWARDS CEREMONY
MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2011
SINBAD TO HOST; SPECIAL PERFORMANCES BY WYCLEF
YOLANDA ADAMS, MELANIE FIONA AND RAPHAEL SAADIQ
BENEFIT SUPPORTS THE LEGENDARY NON-PROFIT
EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
HARLEM, NY – June 6, 2011 – The Apollo Theater today announced the complete lineup
for its sixth Annual Spring Gala Benefit Concert honoring cultural icon Stevie Wonder, who will be inducted
into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. The Benefit supports the preservation of
the non-profit Theater’s unparalleled
legacy, its current initiatives for emerging artists, and community and
educational programs in New York City and beyond.
Wyclef Jean, Yolanda Adams, Melanie Fiona,
Raphael Saadiq, Paul Schaffer, and Chick
Corea, as well as other surprise guests, will perform during this special
evening dedicated to Mr. Wonder’s legacy as an artist and philanthropist. The program
will be hosted by celebrated comedian and former host of Showtime at the Apollo, Sinbad.
“I am proud to be hosting this outstanding
evening honoring two ‘Wonders of the World’: the great Stevie Wonder and the
legendary Apollo Theater,” said Sinbad. “In many ways, hosting this event
is like going full circle in my career. There isn’t a person in my time up to
now that didn’t want to be Stevie Wonder. Getting to meet and hang with Stevie
over the years—as well as hosting Showtime at the Apollo for two
years—were milestones in my life.”
Stevie Wonder joins other iconic performers in
the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame—musicians, artists, and entertainers whose path
to fame included the Apollo—including Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Quincy
Jones, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Gladys Knight, Little
Richard, and Ella Fitzgerald. Each
Apollo Legends Hall of Fame inductee is honored with a plaque on the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under
the Theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street in Harlem.
Additionally, The Apollo will
present cosmetics giant Revlon with
its Corporate Award, accepted by
Chairman, Ronald O. Perelman, in
recognition of Revlon’s support of the
and arts supporter Reginald Van Lee
will receive The Percy E. Sutton Civic
Leadership Award, named in honor of one of New York City’s legendary
leaders and a champion of Harlem and its cultural institutions.
by Ron Weisner for Ron Weisner
Entertainment with events management services provided by JKS Events, the benefit concert will be under the musical direction
of Ray Chew, whose credits include
Musical Director for American Idol,
NBC’s The Singing Bee, Showtime at the Apollo as well as the
Apollo’s weekly Amateur Night show.
Following the performance, the event will conclude with the Apollo
Supper Club—a stylish lounge atmosphere created by David Monn featuring spectacular gourmet
creations prepared by Great Performances. The world renowned DJ D-Nice will provide music for late-night dancing.
About Stevie Wonder
singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist Stevie
Wonder has had a long association with the Apollo Theater, appearing for the
first time in 1962 when he was 12 years old. At that time, he was called
“Little Stevie Wonder,” and was already touring as a professional act (and was
the only “child act”) as part of Berry Gordy’s “Motown Revue,” a road show
featuring top acts from the Motown Label.
Stevie played a major role in the show since he could sing, play
harmonica, organ, congas and drums, which led to him being called a “wonder
child.” Other notable Apollo
appearances include the “Save the Apollo Concert” in the 1980s and sold out
solo concerts in 2005.
E. Sutton Civic Leadership Award
is named for Percy E. Sutton, a distinguished community leader, entrepreneur,
and long-time advocate for Harlem, and is a testament to his longstanding relationship and devotion to the Apollo
and the City of New York. Mr. Sutton was Manhattan borough president for three terms, and at the time, was New
York State’s highest ranking African-American elected official. After
retiring from politics, he built a media empire, founding the Inner City
Broadcasting Corporation in 1971, which became the second largest black owned
radio broadcasting company in the United States. In 1981, Mr. Sutton purchased
the world famous Apollo Theater and made pivotal contributions toward the
efforts to revitalize and restore the Apollo. Percy E. Sutton graduated from
Prairie View A&M University, Tuskegee Institute, and Hampton Institute.
After serving as an intelligence officer in World War II with the Tuskegee
Airmen, he earned a law degree from Brooklyn College and became one of America’s
best-known lawyers, fighting for civil rights and representing many
African-American activists, including Malcolm X. Mr. Sutton has received many
honors, including the renaming of the 125th Street Manhattanville Post Office and Fifth Avenue from 124th to
142nd Street in his name.
About the Apollo Theater
The Apollo Theater is
one of Harlem’s, New York City’s, and America’s most iconic and enduring
cultural institutions. The Apollo was
one of the first theaters in New York, and the country, to fully integrate,
welcoming traditionally African-American, Hispanic, and local immigrant
populations in the audience, as well as headlining uniquely talented
entertainers who found it difficult to gain entrance to other venues of similar
size and resources. Since introducing
the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major
role in cultivating artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres
including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop.
Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown,
Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn
Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo’s stage.
Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater
received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the
National Register of Historic Places.
The Apollo's annual
season is made possible by lead support from The Coca-Cola Company, the Edward
and Leslye Phillips Family Foundation, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone,
Reggie Van Lee, The Ford Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bloomberg, and
the Neuberger Berman Foundation. Lead annual support is also provided by
public funds from the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council; with
additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York City
Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; New York
State funding from Senator Bill Perkins, Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, and the
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and the New York State
Council for the Arts. Visit www.apollotheater.orgto learn more.
Apollo Theater - 253
West 125th Street, New York, NY10027
Tickets for the 2011 Spring Gala and after-party
are on sale now. To purchase benefit tickets to the event or to make a donation
to the Apollo Theater Foundation, Inc., email ApolloSpringGala@jksevents.com or call 212-380-8946.
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