"Legends: OWN at the Apollo" to Air as a Four-Part Primetime Special
The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—has played a vital role in cultivating emerging talents and launching the careers of some of the most celebrated acts in music history including Apollo Legends Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, The Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind and Fire. "Legends: OWN at the Apollo" transports viewers to Harlem, New York, for four nights of not only soulful performances of the genius hits we've all come to love, but exclusive interviews featuring artists’ personal thoughts on how the historic theater helped nurture and develop their careers and create lifelong memories and friendships.
The special was created and produced by Ron Weisner Entertainment.
Episode descriptions below. All episodes air from 10-11:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Saturday, October 24
Episode: Legends: OWN at the Apollo Featuring Gladys Knight
Known as the "Empress of Soul," seven-time Grammy Award-winner and soul icon Gladys Knight takes the stage at Apollo Theater to perform her legendary hits with special guests Yolanda Adams, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick. Plus, Knight performs with brother and Pip, Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr.
Saturday, October 31
Episode: Legends: OWN at the Apollo Featuring Smokey Robinson
From the Apollo Theater in his emotionally powerful falsetto, Honorary Grammy Living Legend Recipient, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and songwriter Smokey Robinson performs the hits that made him among the most romantic and beloved artists in music history. Robinson is joined by English soul singer Joss Stone.
Saturday, November 7
Episode: Legends: OWN at the Apollo Featuring The Isley Brothers
Brothers Ronald Isley & Ernie Isley of the legendary group The Isley Brothers take the stage at Apollo Theater to perform their catalogue of musical hits known to powerfully intersect the gospel, R&B, rock, soul, funk and disco genres. With an unprecedented seven decades in the industry, the group proves why their soulful sound continues to reverberate through contemporary music.
Saturday, November 14
Episode: Legends OWN at the Apollo Featuring Earth, Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind & Fire bring the infectious energy of their eclectic mix of African, Latin American, funk, soul, pop, rock and jazz sounds to the Apollo Theater. Known for their uplifting messages of universal love and harmony, the band showcases the forever-dynamic sound of their horn section, Verdine White's electrifying bass and the harmony vocals of Ralph Johnson and Philip Bailey's sweet falsetto they’ve become famous for. Jazz pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis joins the group as special guest.
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About the Apollo Theater
The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging talents and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.
With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, performance art, spoken word initiatives, and more. This includes the October 2014 premiere and 2015 international tour of the dance celebration project—James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, the annual Africa Now! Festival, Apollo Club Harlem and the upcoming New York premiere of the opera Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD. The Apollo is a presenting organization that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and music works organized around a set of core initiatives: Apollo Music Signature Programs—Amateur Night, Salon Series, Apollo Music Café; Legacy Series—work that celebrates and extends the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens; Global Festivals including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival and Breakin' Convention, international and U.S.-based artist presentations focused on a specific theme; and Special Projects, multidisciplinary work with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms, and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are D'Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, Miri Ben Ari, D’Angelo, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder; and the Apollo's forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy.
The Apollo Theater is a not-for-profit organization and currently in the midst of fundraising for its 21st Century Apollo Campaign, created to extend the institution's role in fostering artistic innovation and in building appreciation of American culture around the world. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org.