LL Cool J, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan Honored by Kennedy Center (PICS)

ll-cool-j-4572d1ddaadfc9afIt’s been a while since I posted, but the Kennedy Center Honors has taken me out of this hiatus with its 40th annual national celebration of the arts held on December 3, 2017.  The 2017 recipients included American dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, Cuban American singer-songwriter and actress Gloria Estefan, American television writer and producer Norman Lear, American musician and record producer Lionel Richie and American hip hop artist and entertainment icon LL COOL J (aka Uncle L!! The first rapper to receive this honor!!)

 

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Rihanna Named Humanitarian of the Year by Harvard Foundation

Rihanna has been named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year, and will accept the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony next Tuesday (Feb. 28).

“Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” said S. Allen Counter, the Harvard Foundation’s director. Read The Rest

Tai Beauchamp and Wilson Cruz to host 10th Annual ADCOLOR Conference & Awards

Ahead of the organization’s annual award conference and awards, ADCOLOR, the premier organization celebrating and promoting professionals of color and diversity in the creative industries, is proud to announce that they have secured actor Wilson Cruz and style influencer Tai Beauchamp as co-hosts of the event.

“We are honored to have Wilson Cruz and Tai Beauchamp host our 10th Annual ADCOLOR Conference & Awards,” said ADCOLOR Founder and President Tiffany R. Warren. “In their careers and lives they have used their celebrity to challenge the status quo so that people of color, women and members of the LGBTQ community can see themselves as TV stars, fashion editors and icons. We could not be prouder to have these two points of light helping us to usher in our 10th year!” Read The Rest

Naomi Campbell to Chair Event Honoring Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Proceeds to Benefit Boys & Girls Harbor

Boys & Girls Harbor announced that Naomi Campbell will join Keith Clinkscales and Lyor Cohen as an event chair for the organization’s Salute to Achievement on Monday, September 26th at Lincoln Center, David Koch Theater located at 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York City.  The event will honor Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and will feature a special performance by Audra Day.

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2016 Ailey Spirit Gala Benefit’s Star-Studded Party and Performance Launches Two-Week Lincoln Center Engagement

Ailey II with Ailey II Artistic Director Troy Powell. Photo by Pete Monsanto

Ailey II with Ailey II Artistic Director Troy Powell. Photo by Pete Monsanto

Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2016 Lincoln Center engagement kicked off with a star-studded Ailey Spirit Gala on Wednesday, June 8th. The one-night-only benefit performance and party, sponsored by FedEx, featured actor Anthony Anderson of black-ish and Barbershop: The Next Cut and journalist Roland S. Martin of TV One and the Tom Joyner Morning Show as Honorary Chairs. Gala Co-Chairs were Gina F. Adams, Lynne & Anthony M. Carvette, Leslie & Tom Maheras, Almaz & Marc S. Strachan and Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach, and Vice Chairs were Michele & Timothy Barakett, Dr. N. Anthony & Robyn Coles, Jaishri & Vikas Kapoor, and Pamela D. Zilly & John H. Schaefer. The evening helped raise over $1 million for Ailey’s extensive educational programs for young people, including AileyCamp and scholarships to The Ailey School. Read The Rest

amfAR RAISES $1.2 MILLION AT 7TH ANNUAL INSPIRATION GALA NEW YORK

Naomi Campbell honored at the amfAR Inspiration Gala

Naomi Campbell honored at the amfAR Inspiration Gala

Leonardo DiCaprio, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Derulo, Zayn Malik, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Zac Posen, Michel Sidibé, Kelly Osbourne, Victoria Justice, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole were among those who gathered at Skylight at Moynihan Station last night to support amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, at the seventh annual Inspiration Gala New York. Naomi Campbell and Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director, Kim Jones, were honored at the event for their longtime support of the fight against AIDS. Whoopi Goldberg hosted the black-tie benefit and celebration of men’s style, which raised $1.2 million for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research initiatives and featured performances by Jason Derulo and Nico & Vinz.

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Other guests in attendance included Anna Cleveland, Josephine Skriver, Alina Baikova, Devon Windsor, Andreja Pejic, Valery Kaufman, Nyle DiMarco, Karrueche, Nicolay Sereba, Vincent Dery, Lindsay Ellingson, Catherine McNeil, Lexi Boling, Felipe Diniz, Alex Lundqvist, Brandon Maxwell, Stephanie Seymour, Harry Brant, Peter Brant, Brian Kelly, and John Demsey, among others.

Master of ceremonies and longtime amfAR supporter Whoopi Goldberg opened the evening and introduced Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Sidibé spoke about UNAIDS’s support of amfAR’s efforts to find a cure for HIV by 2020 and thanked those who have supported amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative. amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, newly appointed International Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, who stated that the cure for HIV has moved “from the realm of fantasy to the realm of possibility, and now, to the realm of probability in the foreseeable future.”

Zayn Malik presented the amfAR Award of Inspiration to his friend, Kim Jones, who continues Louis Vuitton’s legacy of support for the fight against AIDS.

Actress and iconic supermodel Naomi Campbell, who has been a devoted supporter of amfAR for 23 years, was then presented with the Award of Inspiration by her friend Wendy Williams. In her acceptance remarks, Campbell dedicated the award to everyone who has been affected by HIV/AIDS, and thanked amfAR “for bringing us to this much more hopeful point,” stressing that “we are nearly there and we are not going to give up.” Following Campbell’s speech, Honorary Chair Kate Moss appeared in a video to send her congratulations to friends Naomi and Kim.

The evening also featured two spectacular live performances, ending with an explosive performance by pop and R&B sensation Jason Derulo, who performed a set of his biggest hits including “Trumpets,” “Wiggle,” “Talk Dirty,” and “Want to Want Me.” Nico & Vinz, who earlier this week performed at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, also performed their hit single “Am I Wrong.”

The evening’s live auction, conducted by Andrea Fiuczynski of Sotheby’s, featured an array of luxury items and exclusive experiences. Highlights included:

  • A private portrait sitting with one of today’s most influential photographers, Steven Klein.
  • A surprise package to attend the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s annual gala in St. Tropez.
  • A photograph by legendary photographer Herb Ritts, titled Backflip, Paradise Cove.
  • Donuts (Chocolate), a work by the world’s most famous and mysterious street artist, Banksy.
  • An opportunity to explore the stunning Tiger’s Nest Monastery, the most sacred monastery in Bhutan, with adventure explorer and world record holder Johan Ernst Nilson.
  • Exclusive Louis Vuitton scarves, donated by honoree Kim Jones.

The black-tie benefit, produced by Josh Wood Productions, also featured a full-scale menswear runway show. This year, the world’s top designers offered looks for a “Jet Set”-themed fashion show. Participating designers included Acne Studios, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein Collection, Diesel Black Gold, DSQUARED2, Givenchy, Helmut Lang, Kenneth Cole, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo, Thom Browne, Todd Snyder, Valentino, and Versace, among others. The runway looks were styled by Benjamin Sturgill. Makeup was provided by M·A·C Cosmetics, and hair styling was provided by Rodney Cutler for Hairdressers Against AIDS. Runway Production and Casting were provided by Trew Productions. Décor was provided by Raul Avila, and music was provided by Honey Dijon.

amfAR Trustee R. Martin Chavez and Adam Norbury served as Event Hosts. Marc Jacobs, Quincy Jones, Michael Kors, Kate Moss, Zac Posen, Rihanna, Mario Testino, and Riccardo Tisci were Honorary Chairs. Event Chairs included Mert Alas, Jim Clerkin, amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, Fran Cutler, Alan Cumming, John Demsey, Paolo Diacci, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Bethann Hardison, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Nayla Hayek, Cheyenne Jackson, Brian C. Kelly, Shayne Oliver, Marcus Piggott, Vincent Roberti, and Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union.

Harry Winston, M·A·C Viva Glam, and The Points Guy were the Presenting Sponsors. Moët Hennessy and Windows were the event’s Signature Sponsors. Reca Group was the Fashion Show Sponsor.

Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR. Moët Hennessy is amfAR’s Official Wine and Spirits Partner.

The Inspiration series was launched in 2010 by amfAR and Josh Wood Productions to celebrate men’s style and fashion while raising funds for the Foundation’s life-saving AIDS research programs. Inspiration galas have taken place in New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, Miami, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, raising more than $26 million to date.

Apollo Throws Star-Studded Spring Gala Hosted by LL Cool J and Raise $1.7M (PICS)

Last night, the Apollo Theater celebrated its 11th Annual Spring Gala raising $1.7M for its year-round artistic and community programming initiatives. The concert portion of the evening was hosted by LL COOL J, and opened with the dynamic dancing duo Laurent & Larry Bourgeois of Les Twins. The concert also featured performances by legendary R&B group, The O’Jays including rousing version of Love Train, The Backstabbers, For the Love of Money and more. Rising star vocalist, Leon Bridges brought the crowd to its feet with a performance of Mustang Sally and vocalist Andra Day performed her hit song City Burns, followed by a touching performance of Unforgettable in tribute to legendary songstress Natalie Cole. Host LL COOL J also joined DJ D-Nice for a tribute to Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest – one of several iconic artists lost in 2016. The concert portion ended with a powerful Prince tribute which included legendary guitarist Vernon Reid and Cheryl Pepsii Riley, who sang an emotional version of Purple Rain.

Apollo 11th Annual Spring Gala: LL COOL J hosted the concert portion of the Apollo Spring Gala

Apollo 11th Annual Spring Gala: LL COOL J hosted the concert portion of the Apollo Spring Gala

Each year at the Spring Gala, the Apollo also recognizes a corporation for its outstanding philanthropy and community leadership. Last evening VIACOM Executive Chairman, President and CEO, Philippe Dauman accepted the Corporate Award in recognition of his company’s community leadership. Apollo Board Vice-Chairman, Charles Phillips presented the award.

The night culminated with a much buzzed about after party held in a stylish and spacious tent created by celebrity event planner and Apollo board member Bronson van Wyck. Key décor elements included a floral wall set behind the DJ stage and a large video ball suspended above the center of the tent which featured a variety of footage including excerpts from the Purple Rain movie. The after party featured 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.

In a very special addition to the 2016 gala, the celebratory evening began with an afternoon ceremony to induct legendary recording artist Prince into the Apollo Walk of Fame. The induction ceremony took place just under the Apollo marquee and included performances and appearances by legendary saxophonist Maceo Parker, members of Prince’s renowned band The New Power Generation, Prince’s protégé and singer/musician Andy Allo, and R&B singer who sang her hit song Do Me Baby, which was written by Prince.

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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.

Apollo Spring Gala Co-Chairs included: Anna Chapman and Ronald O. Perelman, James L. Dolan, Tom Dooley, Sonia and Paul Jones, Debra L. Lee, Carolyn and Mark Mason, Laura and Richard D. Parsons and Karen and Charles Phillips

Apollo Spring Gala Vice Chairs included: Frederick G. Loder, Racquel Oden, Dori Silverman, Christine Taylor and Stephen Volk

Apollo Spring Gala Committee members included: American Express, BNY Mellon, Jim Carter, Citi, Alberto Cribiore, Discovery Communications, Disney, Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis, Jr., National Basketball Players Association, New York Life, Tawana Tibbs and Bruce Gordon, Time Warner Inc., Bronson van Wyck and Janice Savin Williams and Christopher J. Williams

Apollo Spring Gala Sponsors included: MacAndrews and Forbes Incorporated; Viacom; Citi; The Coca-Cola Company; Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Infor; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s; The Madison Square Garden Company and Merrill Lynch

The 2016 Apollo Spring Gala was made possible with generous support from American A

7th Annual WASH Gala Dazzles and Raises $165K (PICS)

Raises $165,000 for FACE Africa’s WASH Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa

FACE Africa hosted its 7th Annual WASH, (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Gala on Saturday March 26, 2016 at NeueHouse Madison Square in New York City. The Gala took place on the heels of World Water Day, (March 22nd) and aimed to bring awareness to the growing clean water epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. 700 million people globally lack access to safe water supply sources, with 300 million people in Africa alone affected everyday.

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MoMA Party in the Garden (PICS)

The Museum of Modern Art hosted its annual Party in the Garden, honoring collection artists Huma Bhabha, Mark Bradford, and Brice Marden, along with philanthropists Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman and Sally and Wynn Kramarsky. In recognition of their prolonged commitment to culture, the arts, and MoMA, this year’s honorees are being celebrated for their artistry and philanthropy.

MoMa Party in the Garden - Robyn - Photographed by Stephen Smith imaginare co. on June 1, 2016 This year’s Party in the Garden featured a performance by internationally acclaimed pop artist Robyn. Robyn has released four albums and two EPs, been nominated for three Grammys, performed on Saturday Night Live, and toured extensively, reaching a dedicated audience around the world. Robyn, who performed with her live band, has asked 10 different producers/DJs to remix material from throughout her catalog for the four shows she is doing this summer—including headlining New York’s Governor’s Ball Festival. The shows also included new music and material from her recent project La Bagatelle Magique. Read The Rest

Across the Pond: Together For Short Loves Midsummer Charity Ball (PICS)

From across the pond…

Midsummer Ball raises over £290,000 (over $420k) for UK children’s charity Together for Short Lives

Alesha Dixon, Judge on Britain's Got Talent at Together for Short Lives  via Fashion Bomb Daily

Alesha Dixon, Judge on Britain’s Got Talent at Together for Short Lives
via Fashion Bomb Daily

A star studded Midsummer Ball at Banqueting House for UK children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives, raised a staggering £290,000 in support of the charity’s work with seriously ill children and their families. The Midsummer Ball took place on Wednesday 1 June and was supported by Coutts.

Together for Short Lives’ special guests experienced a magical midsummer night to remember, enjoying a champagne reception, dining on an elegant and sumptuous menu. James Toseland and Melanie Sykes were the Ball’s hosts for the night, introducing talent from Gabrielle Aplin, Ella Henderson and Britain’s Got Talent finalist, Beau Dermott. Following an evening of stellar performances, Ball guests danced the night away with Soul II Soul, including the legendary 80s club classic Back to Life (I’m totally a fan!!). Read The Rest

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