Days like Sunday, June 12, affirm that when it’s poppin’ in NYC, there’s no place that can really touch us. The Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Yankees, the Tribeca Film Festival, J Cole’s headline turn on Day 3 of the Governors’ Ball and Summer Jam were all in contention and worthy for your celebratory attention. I opted for the shot to witness history, so the Tony Awards won out this year.

Ironic that on this night we saw a win for Michael R. Jackson for Best Book of a Musical: “Strange Loop” and Myles Frost for his portrayal of Michael Jackson in “MJ,” getting the nod for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. Other winners of note include:

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Phylicia Rashad, “Skeleton Crew”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Joaquina Kalukango, “Paradise Square”
Best Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon, “MJ”
Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Natasha Katz, “MJ”
Best Sound Design of a Musical: Gareth Owen, “MJ”
Best Musical: “A Strange Loop”

The latter victory was historic in the sense that it solidified Jennifer Hudson as the G.O.A.T of “American Idol” alumni as she has secured GOTE (Grammy, Oscar, Tony, Emmy) status as she’s one of the show’s co-producers. To add distinction from the 17 others that preceded her in this accomplishment she’s one victory away from BIG (BET Award, Image Award, Golden Globe Award) GOTE. If you’re keeping count here are the plaudits that earned her place in history:

BET Awards – Best Actress and Best New Artist

Image Awards – Entertainer of The Year

Golden Globes – not yet

Grammy in 2009 for her self-titled album, in 2017 for best musical theater album for “The Color Purple”

Oscar – Best Supporting Actress for “Dreamgirls”

Tony – Best Musical: “A Strange Loop”

Emmy “Baba Yaga”

In an Instagram post Hudson stated, “Wow!!! I am overwhelmed by all the outpouring of love and support that I am Still receiving and I’m still processing this whole new ground. What an honor! Thank u all for being with me on this journey. I could not live this life without u. Like I said when I won my Oscar, look what God can do. Well, He did it again!”

The very next night, the Apollo Theater hosted their annual Spring Benefit where the first African American woman to achieve the GOTE awards, Whoopi Goldberg, handed out the evening’s biggest honor, The Impact Award, to Tyler Perry. “When you are honored by a legacy and history as rich as the Apollo’s you have to honor that. So, I hope that we understand how important it is to support these kinds of venues; that we give to these kinds of venues. There’s so much happening in the world where people are trying to erase our history, it’s so important that we ourselves let our kids and other people know and remember the history.” He continued with “Don’t ever take this place for granted Harlem!” before putting his money where his mouth is and donating an additional 500,000 dollars bringing the already record fundraising total to $3.7 million. Aryeh Bourkoff, founder and CEO of Global investment and merchant banking firm LionTree, was given the Corporate Award for their achievements and artistic contributions. It wouldn’t be the Apollo without a special music moment occurring and that was delivered in spades. With a band as versatile as the Roots holding court, you never know how they’re going to come; this night they literally came with the Instant Funk, setting the evening off with their homage paying rendition of “I Got My Mind Made Up” before transitioning mix tape style to “You’re the One For Me,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Soul Makoosa.” Kawasi Washington and Anthony Hamilton gave rousing performances, but the crescendo was the great Stephanie Mills’ definitive version of “Home.”

New York we back! This Sunday the JUNETEENTH UNITYFEST Concert takes place at BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! at the Lena Horne Bandshell at Prospect Park. Falling on Father’s Day Sunday, the event will feature performances by some of the world’s leading gospel artists, including Tye Tribbett, Deborah Cox, Israel Houghton and Mali Music. See you there. Until then, enjoy the Night Life.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi there David! It’s Kayla Abbitt with Cincinnati Music Festival. What is your email so we can get in contact about our media application?

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