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Harlem’s Apollo Theater marks 80th birthday with star-studded gala

Harlem’s Apollo Theater marks 80th birthday with star-studded gala

APOLLO:Doug E. Fresh, left and Wayne Brady attend the Apollo Theater Spring Gala and 80th Anniversary Celebration at the Apollo Theater on Monday, June, 10, in New York City. Photo: Associated Press/Brad Barket

Soul legend Gladys Knight and British singer Joss Stone were among the celebrities marking the 80th anniversary of Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater on Tuesday night.

The fundraising gala, hosted by comedian Wayne Brady for the second year, raised a huge $2.3 million and was the most successful night since the annual event was started nine years ago.

Stone performed a rendition of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World” while music icons including Knight, The Isley Brothers and Doug E. Fresh were also on hand to entertain the audience with classic Motown and hip-hop hits.

Money raised by the event, which celebrates the singers, dancers and comics who have graced the theatre’s stage since it opened in 1934, is used to support the Apollo’s education and community outreach programs.

Apollo boss Jonelle Procope said, “Funds for the Apollo allow us to continue to provide innovative performing arts programs, educational programs for young people, students and families.”

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