sheryl lee ralph *LOS ANGELES — One Diva! One Song! One Night to touch a million lives!  Actress/Activist Sheryl Lee Ralph’s DIVA Foundation kicks off its 22nd Annual HIV/AIDS benefit concert and 2012 World AIDS Day Event – DIVAS Simply Singing!

The all-star lineup will include Oleta Adams, Faith Evans, A’ngela Winbush, Tramaine Hawkins, Lalah Hathaway, Jenifer Lewis, Kristinia DeBarge, and DIVA Discovery artists – The Hill Sisters.  R&B veteran and favorite, El DeBarge will pay tribute to the ladies as the resident Divo for the evening.  Two of NBC’s most notable reality competition contestants, Jamar Rogers (The VOICE) and Prince Poppycock (America’s Got Talent) will also join the celebration in song.  Angela Bassett, Rolonda Watts, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Flex Alexander, MC Lyte and a host of other celebrities are joining this year’s event as presenters.  All of the concert’s participants’ lives have been touched and affected by HIV/AIDS and are uniting in song to raise awareness.

Created and produced by Ralph, DIVAS Simply Singing! is an annual benefit concert, produced in conjunction with The DIVA Foundation to help raise money and awareness about HIV/AIDS.  DIVAS Simply Singing!  is the longest consecutive running musical AIDS benefit concert in the country, raising awareness and erasing stigma, one song at a time, to help and assist AIDS organizations in Los Angeles and around the world. This evening of song and entertainment spotlights the talents of D.I.V.A. (acronym for Divinely Inspired, Victoriously Aware) individuals from all walks of show business.

The 22nd Annual DIVAS Simply Singing! will take place on World AIDS Day, Saturday, December 1, 2012 at Club Nokia L.A. LIVE near Staples Center.  Concert starts 7:30 p.m. and doors open 6:30 p.m.  Tickets prices range from $50 – $80.  For ticket information, contact Staples Center box office at 213.765.7000 or visit www.clubnokia.com.

The event is sponsored by American Airlines, Kaiser Permanente, Gilead Services, Aetna, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Diageo, and Actor/Radio Host Wendell James.

About DIVAS Simply Singing!

“It’s one of the best events in town, where music raises the roof, the applause pours out like love and the tears flow like redemption.” – Daryl H. Miller, LA Times

With a unique blend of song, entertainment and empowerment, this oft-praised and highly-anticipated event continues to attract some of the most talented women in show business, uniting in song against HIV/AIDS. Talents such as Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Oleta Addams, Melissa Manchester, Dianne Reeves, Roberta Flack, Eartha Kitt, Stephanie Mills, Fergie, Raven, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holiday, Miss Nancy Wilson and many others have raised their voices in song and support of DIVAS Simply Singing!

In the past, proceeds from the concert have benefited organizations such as Project Angel Food, Caring for Babies with AIDS, Minority AIDS Project, the Safe Place for Pediatric AIDS, the National Minority AIDS Council, the Black AIDS Institute, and the Mphilone Project in South Africa.

About the DIVA Foundation

The DIVA Foundation is a national nonprofit 501c (3) charitable organization founded by Sheryl Lee Ralph in 1990 as a memorial to the many friends she lost to HIV/AIDS while in the original Broadway company of Dreamgirls. The organization focuses on generating resources and coordinating activities to create awareness of and combat against HIV/AIDS. The DIVA Foundation utilizes music and entertainment as a vehicle to inform, educate and erase the stigma still attached to this disease. In 2005, Sheryl Lee Ralph and the DIVA Foundation received the first Red Ribbon Leadership Award at the United Nations on World AIDS Day for the unique use of the arts in fighting HIV/AIDS.

Did you know?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 250,000 of the 1.2 million people living with HIV don’t know they are infected. Get tested!  Visit www.testtogether.org or www.divassimplysinging.org.

“AIDS affects us all. Get tested!” Sheryl Lee Ralph

About Sheryl Lee Ralph

It’s difficult to remember a time when people died in numbers to great to imagine and families turned their backs on loved ones dying in silence, stigma and shame.  It’s hard to remember that people didn’t talk about AIDS in America but Sheryl Lee Ralph has never forgotten. That is why she created the DIVA (Divinely Inspired Victoriously Anointed) Foundation. Her dedicated commitment has led to the 19th Annual DIVAS Simply Singing! And her critically acclaimed one-woman show, “Sometimes I Cry,” a production written and performed by Ralph, that explores the lives of women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and continues to tour the world.

“If was fortunate for the country – and world – that two years ago Ralph became sufficiently outraged over the silence about HIV/AIDS and how it kills too many people, too many women, to many black Americans.  Not only did she find her voice when writing Sometimes I Cry.  She found her calling.” – Mary Martin Niepold, Winston-Salem Journal

Sheryl Lee Ralph has never been one to rest on her laurels. A triple threat Dreamgirl, Ralph is an acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage.  Her award-winning work includes creating the role of Deena Jones in the legendary Broadway musical, “Dreamgirls,” which earned her Best Actress nods for Tony and Drama Desk Awards. She returned to Broadway for a 12-month stint in the Tony-award winning musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie,’ creating the role of sassy chanteuse Muzzy Van Hossmere to rave reviews.  Ralph has just wrapped the NBC series SMASH where she plays “mom-ager” to Jennifer Hudson.  As an author her critically acclaimed book Redefining DIVA (Simon & Schuster) is a New York Times best seller.

No stranger to television, Ralph’s credits include “It’s a Living,” “Designing Women,” and most notably, “Moesha” for which TV Guide named her one of TV’s best Mom’s and was nominated for seven Image Awards.  Sheryl has shared the big screen with some of Hollywood’s award-winning leading men with film credits that include “The Mighty Quinn” with Denzel Washington; “Mistress” with Robert de Niro; “The Distinguished Gentlemen” with Eddie Murphy and “To Sleep With Anger” with Danny Glover for which Ralph picked up a win for Best Supporting Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards for her critically acclaimed performance. Her latest film, Christmas in Compton with Omar Gooding and Eric Roberts premieres Nov 9th across country.

Finding success in writing and directing, Ralph’s award-winning short film, “Secrets,” co-starring award-winning actress Alfre Woodard and Robin Givens was a finalist in the HBO Film Short Competition, Showtime’s Filmmaker Award Series, and the BET Filmmaker Award Competition. The film was also selected as the audience favorite at the Outfest Film Festival. “Secrets” was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as the Hollywood Film Festival, the Acapulco Film Festival and the Urban World Film Festival.

 

 

 

source:
TOM ESTEY
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