The Howard Theatre Grand Opening Gala and Benefit Concert was a star-studded affair on Thursday night. Music industry greats such as Dionne Warwick, Smokey Robinson, Dianne Reeves, Al Jarreau, Martha Reeves, Raheem DeVaughn, James Ingram, Chrisette Michele and Berry Gordy helped to commemorate the rebirth of the historic Washington, D.C. landmark.
The newly renovated T Street theatre, which was built specifically for African Americans during a segregated time, was the scene for music way before the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. From 1910 onward, it was host to some of the arts’ most legendary figures, such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye and The Supremes.
The gala and tribute concert kicked off the official opening of the 650-seat theater, where live performances will begin this month featuring performers such as The Roots, Mos Def, Chaka Khan, Boyz II Men and Esperanza Spalding.