APOLLO THEATER INDUCTS LIONEL RICHIE AND THE LATE ETTA JAMES INTO APOLLO LEGENDS HALL OF FAME AT ANNUAL SPRING GALA BENEFIT CONCERT AND AWARDS CEREMONY
MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2012
SINBAD TO HOST, WITH SPECIAL APPEARANCES BY
DANNY GLOVER, CHAKA KHAN, EDDIE LEVERT,
VALERIE SIMPSON, MARY MARY
CITI TO RECEIVE CORPORATE AWARD
FOR COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP
GALA PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT THE THEATER’S EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS
(HARLEM, NY –May 21, 2012) – The Apollo Theater, one of the nation’s greatest cultural treasures, announced the lineup for its seventh annual Spring Gala Benefit Concert, at which they will induct Lionel Richie and the late Etta James into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. Proceeds from the gala benefit, to be held on Monday, June 4, 2012, will go toward the non-profit Theater’s education and community engagement programs.
In addition to performances honoring Richie and James, this year’s program will include tributes to three musical icons that have passed this year. Ten-time GRAMMY® Winner Chaka Khan will perform a tribute to the late superstar Whitney Houston; Eddie Levert, in honor of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius; and Valerie Simpson for her husband and legendary songwriting partner Nick Ashford. The evening will be hosted by celebrated comedian and former host of Showtime at the Apollo, Sinbad, with American Idol’s Ray Chew serving as musical director.
Lionel Richie and Etta James join past Apollo Legends Hall of Fame inductees—all legendary musicians, artists, and entertainers whose paths to fame included the Apollo—Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Richard, and Ella Fitzgerald. Each Apollo Legends Hall of Fame inductee is honored with a plaque in the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under the Theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street.
Lionel Richie’s first Apollo appearance was in the early 1970s, with The Commodores, who were opening for Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. “The Apollo is such an important part of music history in this country, and my own personal history,” Mr. Richie said. “When they called and said they were putting me on that list of names, I was thrilled. It’s an honor to be a part of the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame.”
Additionally, each year at the Spring Gala benefit, the Apollo recognizes a corporation whose support enables the Theater to grow and expand its artistic, community, and education programs. The Apollo will present Citi with its 2012 Corporate Award, in recognition of its outstanding philanthropy and community leadership.
“Citi is proud to be a long-time supporter of the Apollo Theater,” said Citi CEO Vikram Pandit. “The Apollo is world-renowned for discovering great talent and its education programs are second to none.”
The evening includes the gala benefit concert and awards ceremony, produced by Ron Weisner for Ron Weisner Entertainment, and a glamorous after-party featuring a stylish lounge transformed and created by celebrity event planner Marc Wilson of Marc Wilson Design.
Tickets for the 2012 Spring Gala and after-party are now on sale. To purchase benefit tickets to the event or to make a donation to the Apollo Theater, call 212-531-5347. To purchase show-only tickets, visit www.apollotheater.org.
Proceeds from the Apollo Spring Gala benefit the Apollo Theater, a not-for-profit organization. The Apollo’s world-class performances and education programs honor the influence and advance the contributions of African American artists and emerging creative voices across cultural and artistic media.
ABOUT THE APOLLO THEATER
The Apollo is a national treasure that has had significant impact on the development of American culture and its popularity around the world. 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, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo’s stage. The Apollo Theater’s new artistic vision builds on its legacy. New Apollo programming has music as its core, driving large scale and more intimate music, dance and theater presentations. The Apollo will continue to present historically relevant presentations, as well as more forward-looking, contemporary work. 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. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org.
The Apollo Theater gratefully acknowledges its Spring Gala Sponsors: Citi; MacAndrews & Forbes; His Excellency Michael Moussa-Adamo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Gabonese Republic to the United States of America, Mexico and Haiti; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Ticketmaster; and TVOne.
Special thanks to American Airlines, Belvedere, and Moët & Chandon Champagne.
The Apollo’s annual season is made possible by lead support from The Coca-Cola Company, The Parsons Family Foundation, the Ronald O. Perelman Family Foundation, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Reginald Van Lee New Works Fund, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Ford Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and individual support from members of the Apollo National Committee and Young Patrons.
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; and the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.