Photo credit: @ApolloTheater – Instagram
The Apollo Theater, a leading nonprofit performing arts institution and one of the nation’s greatest cultural treasures, today announced the star-studded line-up for its 11th annual Spring Gala — its biggest fundraising event of the year — to be held on Monday, June 13 at 7 p.m. The concert portion of the evening will feature performances by legendary R&B group, The O’Jays, and rising star vocalists, Leon Bridges and Andra Day and will be hosted by LL COOL J.
The Apollo also announced that it will induct the one and only Prince into its Walk of Fame in honor of his incomparable contributions to music over the course of 40 years. Prince joins previous Apollo Walk of Fame inductees—all legendary musicians, artists, and entertainers whose paths to fame included the Apollo, including: Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Little Richard and Ella Fitzgerald. Inductees are honored with a plaque on the Apollo Walk of Fame, installed under the theater’s iconic marquee on 125th Street.
“The Apollo Theater is a launching pad for up-and-coming artists through programs like Amateur Night, Apollo Music Café, and the new Apollo Comedy Club and, at this year’s Spring Gala; we’re excited not only to showcase the legends that have paved the way, but to also give a platform to the voices and talent of today. In addition to artistic programming and initiatives, our annual Spring Gala helps to support our educational programs that help nurture the creative spirit of music and culture in Harlem and across the world,” stated Jonelle Procope, president and CEO of The Apollo Theater. “The Apollo family was of course, devastated to hear about the loss of Prince. He is, hands down, one of the greatest artists of all time — an absolute genius — and his relationship with the Apollo dates back to 1993. Over the years, we’ve been honored to host him, whether for a seminal New York performance or as a guest in our audience, so we are beyond thrilled to kick off this year’s Spring Gala by inducting him into the Apollo Walk of Fame.”
Each year at the Spring Gala, the Apollo also recognizes a corporation for its outstanding philanthropy and community leadership. This year’s recipient of the Corporate Award is Viacom. Philippe Dauman, executive chairman, president and CEO of Viacom, will accept on behalf of the organization. The award portion of the evening will be hosted by Jonelle Procope with the Corporate Award being presented by Charles Phillips.
“It is a great honor to accept the corporate award for community leadership from an institution as legendary as the Apollo Theater. Our organizations share a deep commitment to advancing creative voices in American culture and honoring African-American artists, and Viacom applauds their outstanding work,” Dauman said.
The Apollo Spring Gala will begin with a special ceremony to induct legendary recording artist Prince into the Apollo Walk of Fame to be held that afternoon, and continues with red carpet arrivals followed by an award ceremony and a concert with musical director Ray Chew (“Dancing With the Stars”) at the helm. The evening will also include special tributes to the trailblazing artists who died in 2016. The night culminates with an after-party held in a stylish tent created by celebrity event planner and Apollo board member Bronson van Wyck. This year’s after-party will feature a special Let’s Go Crazy dance tribute with DJ D-Nice spinning a dedicated set to the sounds of Prince’s diverse and extensive catalog.
Tickets for the 2016 Spring Gala are now on sale. To purchase Gala tickets or to make a donation to the Apollo Theater, call 212-531-5330. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org . Proceeds from the Apollo Spring Gala will support the Theater’s year-round performing arts programming, innovative education initiatives, and community programs.