On Monday, Stevie Wonder was inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame. Sinbad, the Gala host, told the audience they were witnessing history.
Tony Bennett surprised Mr. Wonder by presenting him with his Hall of Fame Award. Dedicated fans screamed in unison, “We love you, Stevie!” The Apollo Legend had touching words for his friends, especially Tony Bennett: "As much as I may never see the color of his skin, I can see the color of his spirit."
Surprise guests Questlove (The Roots), Paul Shaffer (Late Show with David Letterman), Chick Corea and Doug E. Fresh all collaborated with Stevie to put their own spin on his greatest hits. Only Stevie Wonder could bring together a hip-hop drummer, acclaimed pianist, jazz musician and beat-box master to orchestrate a one of a kind performance.
Melanie Fiona, Raphael Saadiq, Wyclef Jean, Yolanda Adams, Take 6, Ray Chew and Sherri Shepherd showed their appreciation for the legend’s work. Gabourey Sidibe, Robert De Niro, Phylicia Rashad, Spike Lee, Rev. Al Sharpton, Leslie Uggams and Jimmy Buffett were seen joining the audience in giving Mr. Wonder a standing ovation. The Apollo also honored Revlon with the Corporate Award and Reginald Van Lee with the Percy E. Sutton Civic Leadership Award.
After the show, the VIP Party/Apollo Supper Club was the place to be. Mr. Wonder, Doug E. Fresh and Spike Lee kept the party going until after midnight. The event was recorded by Spike Lee for posterity.
Those moments were perfect examples of how many lives Stevie Wonder has touched throughout his career.
Photo courtesy of Apollo Theatre