The 25th Annual DIVAS Simply Singing! concert with Sheryl Lee Ralph LA Coverage by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino
The 25th Annual DIVAS Simply Singing! HIV/AIDS Benefit Concert hosted by Tony Award nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph, Saturday, October 24, 2015, 08:00PM at The Montalban Theatre, Hollywood, California, with full coverage of the weekend, October 23-25, 2015 by Celebrity Photojournalist Lisa Pacino.
DIVAS Simply Singing! was founded by Tony Award nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph, an original Broadway Dreamgirl cast member. The DIVA Foundation: “Driving Infectious Viruses Away” is a national not-for-profit charitable organization that was founded by Sheryl Lee Ralph, in 1990, as a memorial to the many friends she had lost to HIV/AIDS. The organization focuses on generating resources and coordinating activities to create awareness of and combat against HIV/AIDS. The DIVA Foundation utilizes music and entertainment as a vehicle to inform, educate and erase the stigma attached to this deadly disease.
This year was the 25th annual DIVAS Simply Singing! Benefit Concert. The milestone was hosted by founder Sheryl Lee Ralph with extraordinary performances and appearances by:
Mary Wilson of The Supremes ★ Rebbie Jackson ★ Jordin Sparks ★ Freda Payne ★ Loretta Devine ★ Jenifer Lewis ★ A’ngela Winbush ★ Meli’sa Morgan ★ Shanice ★ Alyson Williams ★ Yo-Yo ★ CeCe Peniston ★ WAJE ★ Erica Campbell of Mary Mary ★ Angie Fisher ★ Eloise Laws ★ Amber Stevens ★ Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire ★ And Many More.
Grammy Award winner Mary Wilson of The Supremes; she remained in The Supremes until 1977, making her the longest original member. She has released solo albums, autobiographies, and is a music legend. She continues a successful career as a concert performer, and became a musicians’ rights activist, as well as a musical theater performer, and organizer of various museum displays of The Supremes‘ famed costumes. Mary Wilson was inducted along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard (as members of The Supremes) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Rebbie Jackson is the eldest child of the Jackson family of musicians. She first performed on stage with her siblings during shows in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1974, before subsequently appearing in the television series The Jacksons. She released her debut album Centipede in 1984, with the title song becoming her most successful single release.
Grammy Award nominee, multi-award winner, and former American Idol Jordin Sparks. At the age of 17, she became the youngest winner in the series’ history. Her self-titled debut album was released later the same year, in 2007; it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album had two top-ten singles “Tattoo” and “No Air”; the latter is currently the third-highest-selling single by any American Idol contestant, selling over three million digital copies in the United States.
Freda Payne is a Soul/R&B singer and actress best known for her 1970 multi-million selling hit single “Band of Gold”, which was written by former Motown producers, Holland-Dozier-Holland (under the pseudonym of Edythe Wanye and Ron Dunbar). Freda was also an actress in musicals and films, and a TV talk show host. She is the older sister of former Supreme Scherrie Payne.
Loretta Devine is Primetime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, she is also an original Broadway Dreamgirl cast member. Loretta is a singer and star of stage, TV, and film with countless credits including films, Waiting to Exhale, The Preacher’s Wife, Woman Thou Art Loosed, For Colored Girls, and Jumping the Broom. She is currently starring in the NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show.
Jenifer Lewis a singer, comedian, and star of stage, TV, and film with countless credits. In 1979, she debuted on Broadway in Eubie, the musical based on the work of Eubie Blake. In 2009, she had a singing role in the movie musical The Princess and the Frog. She is currently in the ABC sitcom Black-ish starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Grammy Award winner A’ngela Winbush, a R&B/Soul singer, songwriter, musician, and composer. She rose to fame in the early 1980s as part of the R&B duo René & Angela, after they disbanded in 1986, she continued a successful solo career. To date, she has sold over ten million albums and singles worldwide.
Grammy Award winner Meli’sa Morgan, a R&B/Soul singer who began singing in her church gospel choir in Queens, NY; she became the lead singer of the dance group Shades of Love known for their 1982 top hit “Body to Body (Keep in Touch)”. In 1986, she began her solo career with a string of hits in the 1980s and 1990s; she has collaborated with Kashif, Freddie Jackson, J.T. Taylor, among others.
Grammy Award nominee Shanice, a R&B/Pop-Rock singer, songwriter, musician, dancer, and actress. She has a string of hits from the 1990s including “I Love Your Smile”, “Silent Prayer”, “Saving Forever for You”, and “When I Close My Eyes”. She is also known for her collaboration with many artists including performing on “Behind the Mask” from Michael Jackson’s posthumous album, Michael, Usher’s “Bedtime”, and can be heard on Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart”. In 1997, she was the first black performer to star in the role of “Eponine” in the Broadway musical Les Misérables.Shanice is widely recognized for her coloratura soprano voice and her ability to sing in the whistle register.
Alyson Williams is a R&B singer, known as the First Lady of Def Jam Records. In the 1980s and 1990s she had a string of top hits including “Just Call My Name”, “Sleep Talk”, “I Need Your Lovin”, and “Can’t Have My Man”.
Yo-Yo is a Hip-Hop artist, rapper, and actress born Yolanda Whitaker in Compton, California. Her music has advocated female empowerment, denouncing the frequent sexism found in Hip-Hop music. She is the protégé of rapper Ice Cube. Yo-Yo dubbed her crew the IBWC, which stood for the Intelligent Black Woman’s Coalition. In 2013, she joined BET‘s reality show Hip-Hop Sisters.
CeCe Peniston is a recording artist, songwriter, actress, and former Miss Black Arizona in 1989 and Miss Galaxy in 1990. In the early 1990s, she was one of the most successful dance club artists in the history of the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play with five number one hits in the chart within three years. Her signature song “Finally”, which she co-wrote, became one of the biggest dance singles, selling three million copies worldwide.
Waje, born Aituaje Iruobe, is one of the top ten most influential singers in Nigeria. She is a multi-award winner with a vocal range covering three octaves. She is also an actress making her debut in 2014 in the film Tunnel. Her name Waje is an acronym for “Words aren’t just enough”.
Eloise Laws is a Jazz and R&B singer and a member of the prominent Laws family of musicians from Houston, Texas. In the 1970s, she began recording for Holland-Dozier-Holland’s Music Merchant and later Invictus record labels. Her first album, “Ain’t It Good Feeling Good” was released on Invictus in 1977. She also pursued a career on stage, starring in the Tony-nominated musical, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, which she also co-wrote.
Multi-Grammy Award winner Verdine White is an American musician, best known as the bassist for the legendary group Earth, Wind & Fire, and he is the younger brother of band founder Maurice White.
Celebrity Photojournalist Lisa Pacino of Under The Duvet Productions was in Hollywood, Los Angeles to photograph and cover The 25th Annual DIVAS Simply Singing! HIV/AIDS Benefit Concert.
We have uploaded #679 photographs to our Website taken by Celebrity Photojournalist Lisa Pacino. You may view all of them via the link below. The photographs are complimentary to all involved in the weekend for their personal use and/or Social Media use. If they are needed for commercial use and/or promotional use you must E-mail us to license. Here are a few photo highlights below which appear on our Website along with the others.
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All Photographs by Celebrity Photojournalist Lisa Pacino of Under The Duvet Productions, NY. All Rights Reserved.
REMINDER: If you wish to share any of our photographs for Social Media and/or personal use they are not to be altered in any way. They must be used “as is”, with photo name credit, not cropped, no filters, or adjusted. They are not to be used in collages or any other formats. If needed for commercial and/or promotional use please email us to license. Thank you. Email: UnderTheDuvetProductions@gmail.com
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