*Sheryl Lee Ralph has a reputation for being one of the most glamourous stars in Hollywood today. From her leading role in the broadway musical Dream Girls to her many film and television roles, Sheryl resonates style and class.
So, when Ms. Diva decided to throw an award party at the trendy restaurant Rockwell in Los Feliz to honor comedienne/actress Mo’Nique (best supporting actress award NAACP Image Award) and director Lee Daniels (winner outstanding picture and director NAACP Image Award) for their recent creative accomplishments in the much lauded film “Precious,” stars in Hollywood answered the call to come out and support inspite of stormy skies and intermittent cloud bursts.
Every year, Sheryl Lee Ralph holds a beautiful music gala to raise money for her foundation Divas Simply Singing. The organization has nothing to do with diva behavior or vainglorious self-indulgent thinking. This is a charitable organization and D.I.V.A. stands for Divinely Inspired Victoriously Anointed which Ms. Ralph made clear to all on this night. Sheryl Lee Ralph is serious, dead serious about helping those afflicted with AIDS and she will not stint in her efforts to fight this disease. Through her
Divas Simply Singing Foundation, her friends who died from AIDS will not be forgotten nor the millions who suffer quietly today. Sheryl Lee Ralph is there and always will be there for as long as she can, dedicated to the cause for life. Sheryl Lee Ralph is a woman who walks the walk and talks the talk. She is someone who always does what she says she is going to do. Sheryl explained to all that she was divinely inspired to produce her first annual D.I.V.A Awards just 3 weeks and 6 days prior to the event and what better honorees than Lee Daniels for his enlightening and awakening film Precious; and to Mo’Nique for her chilling performance as a mom with warped sensiblities that causes her daughter Precious to contract the deadly disease. Anyone who has seen this film can attest to the fact that it is moving and alarming and if you haven’t seen it, you must go see it. It is a powerful film.
On the night of the awards, the stars showed up to support Sheryl. I read in the press release that the red carpet started at 6:30PM and who was prompt and on time,
Sheryl Lee Ralph. I tell you, she is woman on a mission, always punctual, reliable and gets right to business. She should wear a button that says, “My name is Sheryl, count on me.”
Soon a procession of celebrities made their entrance on to the red carpet that included, comedienne Luenell, Pop singer Tionne Williams, Omarosa Manigualt-Stallworth, R&B/Hip Hop singer Trueful, R&B singer Norwood Young, radio personality Wendell James, singer Kelly Price, Sen. Vincent J. Hughes (Sheryl Lee Ralph’s hubby), actress/comedienne Jennifer Tarpiero, Sheryl’s children and the honorees, Lee Daniels and Mo’Nique.
Once Lee Daniels and Mo’Nique appeared the media went into a frenzy photog shoot out and there was no end to their flashes.
After the media red carpet appearances dissipated and the stars had a chance to recover from basking in the spotlight, Sheryl Lee Ralph wasted no time in getting right to the issue, reminding everyone why they were there, to bring awareness to AIDS and to honor two outstanding illustrious entertainment icons Mo’Nique and Lee Daniels.
Sheryl delivered a point by point directive on why this issue should not be forgotten and urged everyone to do their part. Inspite of chilly tempertures, the warmth of her presentation and uniqueness of the outdoor courtyard setting warmed the hearts, minds and souls of all present. Her spirit radiated beauty.
Kelly Price sang right before the award presentation. After the ceremony, media resumed taking shots and inger Kenny Lattimore and Robert Townsend were seen among the celebrity crowd.
The remainder of the evening was spent socializing, congratulating the award recipients and enjoying complimentary beverages and hors d’hoeuvres.
I was proud of my friend Sheryl Lee Ralph whom I’ve known for many years. It was great to see her surrounded by friends, her doting husband (who did not leave her side the entire evening) and beautiful children. Sheryl’s glamour and her charm are reflections of the beautiful woman she is inside.
For more about the Diva Awards, Divas Simply Singing and how to make a donation log on to www.divaawards.org and www.divassimplysinging.com
Eugenia Wright is a former actress turned syndicated columnist. You may write to her at [email protected].
Photo Credit: Vinni Ratcliff