Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jonelle Procope To Be Honored at The Apollo Spring Benefit

Harlem, NY – April 27, 2023 – The Apollo today announced this year's Spring Benefithonorees. The historic organization’s largest annual fundraising event will return on Monday,June 12, 2023 themed “The Next Movement”. The celebratory benefit concert will honor TheApollo’s President and CEO Jonelle Procope as her twenty-year tenure comes to a close.Sean “Diddy” Combs, one of the most successful entrepreneurs and cultural icons of all-time,will be the recipient of this year's Icon Award. Six-time NBA champion and the league’s onlysix-time MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be awarded the Impact Award. Eyewear brandand industry leader Warby Parker will receive the Corporate Award. Also, marking theupcoming 50th anniversary of hip-hop, there will be special appearances from trailblazersincluding rapper and formidable actress MC Lyte, three-time Grammy award winning artist,producer and writer Wyclef Jean, and for a mainstage set and to helm the DJ booth at theevent's infamous afterparty, DJ D-Nice. Musician, composer and producer Ray Chew returnsto the Apollo stage as Music Director for the 12th year.

“I’m humbled to join my fellow honorees on the stage this year at our annual fundraisingbenefit”, said The Apollo’s President and CEO Jonelle Procope. “It is bittersweet to endmy tenure, but I'm so proud to have been at the helm of an amazing team and overjoyed with allwe have accomplished over these last 20 years. We have created a space that uplifts andsupports Black artistry in its many forms, and will continue to champion the next generation ofartists, community leaders and changemakers.”

All proceeds will support the non-profit organization’s year-round, world-class artistic,education, and community programs, as well as its commitment to articulating and projectingthe African American narrative using arts and culture, and creating a 21st century performingarts canon.

The Apollo has been a place of dynamic energy and forward motion for more than 89 years. Thisseason’s programmatic theme is aptly themed “The Next Movement!” and has presentedsignature programs, audience favorites, and exciting new works from artists pushing theboundaries of their art forms – from music and dance to fashion and film, and beyond.

“The Apollo has long been at the intersection of artistry and activism, and this year’s themecelebrates the progression of culture and how our communities have been the leading forcebehind much of American entertainment,” said The Apollo’s Executive Producer KamilahForbes. “Jonelle will be missed intensely, as there is no equivalent to her leadership, but we’lltake her teachings to keep The Apollo at the forefront of the arts and philanthropy.”

Watch this space for upcoming announcements as The Apollo unveils the host of this year'sbenefit and a thrilling line-up of special guests and additional performers. for more information.

To purchase benefit tickets, make a donation or for more information, Proceeds from the Spring Benefit supportThe Apollo’s innovative performing arts, education and community initiatives, which serve200,000 people annually.

For exclusive photos, updates and more, use hashtag #ApolloSpringBenefit andfollow The Apollo:


The legendary Apollo—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists 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. In 2024, The Apollo opened The Apollo Stages at the Victoria Theater, marking the first ever expansion and renovation of The Apollo in its nearly 90-year history. The Apollo also has plans to renovate its Historic Theater. For more information about The Apollo, visit

With music at its core, The Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend The Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.

Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, The Apollo 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 Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R. D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Jazmine Sullivan, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and The Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about The Apollo, visit

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About The Apollo

The Apollo is an American cultural treasure. It is a vibrant non-profit organization rooted in the Harlem community that engages people from around New York, the nation, and the world. Since 1934, The Apollo has celebrated, created, and presented work that centers Black artists and voices from across the African Diaspora. It has also been a catalyst for social and civic advocacy. Today, The Apollo is the largest performing arts institution committed to Black culture and creativity.

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The Apollo is a commissioner and presenter; catalyst for new artists, audiences, and creative workforce; and partner in the projection of the African American narrative and its role in the development of American and global culture.

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Artist on stage at Apollo Theater

The Apollo envisions a new American canon centered on contributions to the performing arts by artists of the African diaspora, in America and beyond.

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