Friday, December 31, 2010

32nd Edition of UNCF Evening of Stars Airs Jan. 29, 2011

Keadrick D. Washington/PR Photos

This year’s UNCF An Evening of Stars telecast pays tribute to one of my favorite singers, Ms. Chaka Khan. I was honored to be chosen as one of the participants in the program. She was stunning on the red carpet and it was great to see her with all of the children she helps with her Chaka Kahn Foundation ( ).

Many stars came out to show their love and support for Chaka and The United Negro College Fund. I was nervous as usual and prayed it didn't show. Truthfully, I am still extremely shy working the red carpet and then to have to
perform a classic in front of a Legend was very nerve wracking! LOL! Regardless, I sucked it up and did my best. Gratefully, I ended the song to a standing ovation, so I made it through that one! God is awesome! It's all still new to me.

I met Akon at the taping of last year’s Lionel Richie Tribute and it was really great seeing him again. It was also great watching El Debarge, Melanie Fiona, Faith Evans (she was divine), Angie Stone, Fantasia (electric) and so many more artists perform all of Chaka's hit songs. My two favorite performances of the night were Chaka's daughter Milini and brother Mark’s rendition of "Do You Love What You Feel" and Ms. Bettye LaVette and Herbie Hancock's performance of "Love Me Still." A real tearjerker.

It's funny, I felt like I was the only person backstage who knew about Ms. Bettye LaVette. I kept whispering to everyone, “Wait until you hear Ms. LaVette.” Before she took the stage, I had the opportunity to tell her how much I love her work. I behaved like a real groupie and could not control my nonsense, LOL! She looked at me and said, “I am honored someone as young as you know who I am.” LOL! In true Bette LaVette style, she walked away and went about her business . . .

So much greatness in one night! Make sure you tune in on January 29. For more information and to make a donation to the United Negro College Fund, please visit:

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