Last night the historic Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York had their 75th Anniversary Gala. Your BET.com diva, Dior Noir, had the honor of attending.
Living and up and coming legends graced the red carpet like Jamie Foxx, who stepped out of his car that knocked over security and the barricades! Jamie looked dapper as usual, signed autographs. Unlike Mariah Carey, (who arrived sans Nick) who snapped at an innocent bystander for stepping on her dress before sauntering in. Diva! Mimi looked great in her plunging black Roberto Cavalli gown though (the designer was also in attendance), so I can’t even hate.
Inside, comedian Paul Mooney stole my seat, but I’m never one for making a scene so I snagged a better placement (take that Paul!) just in time for former Showtime at the Apollo host Steve Harvey to start the show.
Jamie Foxx had the audience dying laughing with impersonations of Bill Cosby, Gayle King, Patti LaBelle (who were all in the audience), President Obama, Prince and of course Ray Charles, as he brought out Quincy Jones to be inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. Also, Phylicia Rashad presented Bill and Camille Cosby with a “Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis Humanitarian Award” (Ruby was in the house!).
One of the craziest moments of the night came courtesy of Fantasia who acted a plum fool during her performance of Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady,” Chaka Khan’s “Tell me Something Good” and Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Girlfriend was running through the isles bare foot (get your girl!) in a slinky sequined dress, wailing from the soul while she patted her bobbed weave. I swear she caught the Holy Ghost while she had the audience singing Prince’s popular hit! She ran by me flailing her arms and making the scariest faces I’ve ever seen before her people had to grab her and drag her off the scene. Yikes!
I didn’t think the night could get any better, but all of the sudden Prince took the stage! The audience fell out as the Symbol Man (who looked like music’s fairy godmother in a peach suit, bedazzled cane and those platforms!) brought out Mariah and the two presented Patti LaBelle, who was also inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. Steve Harvey joked about being a grown man ready to cry at the sight of Prince and I felt him! I thought I was going to make the 11 o’clock news for jumping that man, but luckily for all parties involved he dipped shortly after he and Mariah (who was extra dramatic during her speech with tears and all, but she’s Patti’s god daughter thought so, again, I excuse her antics) left the stage.
The O-Jays ended the night rocking the crowd with a medley of their hit tracks while busting out the smooth moves that they’re known for in sparkly suits. I bet they never had to deal with Day 26-style bitchassness, but then again that was a different time.
After the party was the after party, which was a wonderful production of drinks, food, dancing and people for days in a chandler-lit mega tent. I spotted Doug E. Fresh looking like he was getting his mack on with a few PYTs and I’m pretty sure LeBron James was in the house, though I’ll have to admit my attention was focused on all the other giants in the room.
It was an amazing night and an honor to bear witness to the strengths and talents of my people. Congratulations on 75 years strong Apollo Theatre!
What does the iconic theatre mean to you?