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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Usher Shows Mad Love to Wife at Apollo Theater 90th Anniversary

Usher Shows Mad Love to Wife at Apollo Theater 90th Anniversary


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2024 Apollo Theater Spring Benefit

Source: Shahar Azran / Getty

The Apollo Theater, the historic preeminent institution in Black music and culture, celebrated its 90th anniversary this week with its annual Spring Benefit, a spectacular evening filled with star-studded performances and heartfelt tributes. This year’s event marked the first benefit for the new Apollo President and CEO, Michelle Ebanks, and raised $3 million. Radio/TV personality Jazmyn Summers was there for Radio One to bring you the tea.

 “To be contributing to the cultural landscape after 9 decades is extraordinary.  We celebrate everyone tonight, then we catch our breath and prepare for the next 90 years,” declared Ebanks.

The evening was hosted by the charismatic comedian Kym Whitley, who shared her own transformative experience on the Apollo stage, emphasizing the theater’s significance in her career. “If you can make it at The Apollo,” she said, “You can make it anywhere.”

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The benefit honored musical legend Babyface who received the inaugural Legacy Award at the Walk of Fame Ceremony presented by Fat Joe, while Usher was bestowed the Icon Award by Michelle Ebanks and Apollo Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes.

2024 Apollo Theater Spring Benefit

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

 “It’s so hard for me to find the words, because if I’m honest, I just never saw myself as like being on The Apollo stage. I was always the guy behind the scenes and writing songs for everyone else,” Babyface shared. “I am just in awe to be considered as part of this.”

Usher, who turned the event into a date night with his wife Jennifer Goicoechea Raymond, looked dapper in a burgundy suit with flared pants. Jennifer complemented him in a chic black mini dress with a black and white patterned shirt aspect, accessorized with a sparkling black and silver purse.

The couple, who married in a surprise post-Super Bowl ceremony earlier this year, shared a touching moment on the red carpet and during Usher’s acceptance speech.

 “Last and most certainly not least, without your love, passion, support to my best friend, Jennifer Raymond. I love you, baby,” he said. “Thank you for your support, and I’m so happy that we could do this together.”

The 45-year-old R&B superstar, shares daughter Sovereign Bo, 3, and son Sire Castrello, 2, with Jennifer, and has two older sons, Usher “Cinco” Raymond V, 16, and Naviyd Ely, 15, with his ex-wife Tameka Foster.

Jazmyn Sanders and Usher at Apollo Theater 90th Anniversary

Source: Se7en / Revenue Entertainment

Reflecting on his journey, Usher recalled watching “Showtime at The Apollo” with his late grandmother and dreaming of performing on that iconic stage. “I stand before you humbled by your appreciation,” he said, as the audience gave him a standing ovation. “If you can make it to The Apollo, you can do anything.”

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Jordin Sparks kicked off the night with a powerful medley of classics, including Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” and Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman.” The musical performances continued with stellar acts by Johnny Gill, Karyn White, Avery Wilson, Saint Harrison, Leon Thomas, and Gabby Samone. The afterparty, DJ’ed by D-Nice, featured surprise performances by hip-hop icons Big Daddy Kane and Fat Joe, keeping the energy high and the celebration going strong.

The Apollo Theater’s 90th Anniversary Spring Benefit was a night to remember, celebrating the past, present, and future of an iconic institution that continues to shape the landscape of music and culture.

Jazmyn Summers 2024 Headshot

Source: Jazmyn Summers / Jazmyn Summers

You can follow Jazmyn Summers on  @jaztalk1 on Instagram, and Facebook. And please don’t forget to subscribe to Jazmyn Summers’ YouTube.  Photos by Revenue Entertainment.

 



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