Lionel Richie, Etta James Inducted Into Apollo Hall Of Fame
On Monday night, entertainer Lionel Richie was inducted into the Legends Apollo Theater Hall of Fame, and the Harlem theater also held a musical tribute to the late Etta James. NY1's George Whipple filed the following report.
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The non-profit Apollo Theater held its annual spring benefit Monday night. One of the highlights of the evening was the induction of individuals into the select group of legends of the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame.
Among this year's inductees was entertainer Lionel Richie.
"I take this as an honor because look at the shoulders we're standing on. You don't get in this fraternity and sorority because you were just 'kind of there.' You put some dues in," said Richie.
The comedian Sinbad was honored to host the event.
Sinbad: "It's heaven. This is just as fun. I could be right up close to everybody man, see what's happening."
George Whipple: And what about our honoree that's right there, tell me about him.
Sinbad: That's a bad brother man, come on! God didn't make no more. I've been waiting for the next one. They don't make anymore, man.
Also among the inductees was the late Etta James, whose song "At Last" was performed by Gladys Knight.
For Richie, the Apollo has always been very significant.
Richie: This is home. When I came to New York City, they didn't say, "Oh my god, one day kid, you'll make it down at the Garden." They didn't say, "You'll make it at Carnegie Hall." They said, "You'll make it at the Apollo, you're on your way to the world." And this is the endorsement right here. This is the proving ground, if you will.
Whipple: And this theater was almost destroyed. What would that have meant to musical culture?
Richie: That's like destroying the Motown Museum. Do you understand me? It's like a part of American history.