Apollo Theater inducting Prince into Walk of Fame at spring gala

AmNews Staff Reports | 5/6/2016, 1:40 p.m.
The Apollo Theater is hosting 11th Annual Spring Gala on Monday, June 13.
Prince Rogers Nelson, the innovative and unique musician who became one of the most iconic artists of his generation, has died. He was 57. Ralston Smith/NPG Records

The Apollo Theater is hosting 11th Annual Spring Gala on Monday, June 13. The concert portion of the evening will feature performances by R&B group, The O’Jays, and vocalists, Leon Bridges and Andra Day and will be hosted by LL COOL J.

The Theater also announced that it will induct late superstar Prince into its Walk of Fame celebrating his 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,” said Jonelle Procope, president & CEO of The Apollo Theater.

Each year at the Spring Gala, the Apollo also recognizes a corporation for its 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.

Dauman said, “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.”

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 that have been lost 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 catalogue.