An all-star lineup of performers and presenters came out to celebrate the career and commitment to education of Lionel Richie at the taping of UNCF’s 31st annual television special, An Evening of Stars(R) on this past Saturday, September 12. UNCF presented Richie with the Award of Excellence for his successful career and longtime support for education. Richie is a graduate of the prestigious UNCF member school, Tuskegee University. An Evening of Stars(R) (AEOS) Tribute to Lionel Richie Presented by Target taped before a live audience at the Pasadena Civic in Pasadena, California and will air nationwide on January 23rd and 24th, 2010 on BET Networks and WGN and on more than 40 stations in major cities.
This year’s roster of performers included ninetime Grammy Award winner Natalie Cole, Akon, Jesse McCartney, Grammy- Award winner, Chrisette Michele, Boney James, Katharine McPhee, Ledisi, Johnny Gill, James Ingram, Brian McKnight, Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell and 25-time Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder. “It is such an honor to receive this award from UNCF,” said Lionel Richie. “I am a product of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and that experience has had a tremendous influence on my life.”
UNCF also launched “STAR POWER” its second AEOS online campaign. STAR POWER gives Americans a chance to help deserving students go to college. From September 12, 2009 through January 25, 2010, education supporters will be able to join regional teams to help UNCF raise awareness for minority education and raise funds to help students go to college. All donors are encouraged to post the StarPower link on their Facebook and MySpace pages. To learn more, visit www.UNCF.org
“STAR POWER is a great way for people to stand with UNCF in support of giving all Americans the opportunity to get a college education,” said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D. UNCF president and CEO. “President Obama has committed the country to regaining world leadership in the percentage of citizens with college degrees. Lionel Richie and all the artists who participated in this year’s AEOS are contributing to the achievement of this goal. We hope everyone will follow their example, and visit www.uncf.org and click on Star Power to help kids get the college degrees they need and our nation needs them to have.”
An Evening of Stars(R) (AEOS), formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars(R), first aired in 1979, and since that time has become one of the longest running and most successful televised events in U.S. history. Lou Rawls, a spokesperson for UNCF and champion for AEOS for more than 25 years, is credited with helping raise more than $200 million to help UNCF scholarship recipients and member institutions and their students pay the cost of higher education.