*On Saturday, January 31, entertainers from the Bay Area in California and beyond will be uniting to help one of their own in a fundraiser for former Prince protégé Rosie Gaines.
Gaines’ daughter, Latoya Gaines, revealed in a press release that her mother has been suffering from diabetes in addition to other illnesses. In early December, the singer was admitted to a Bay Area hospital for a major infection of both her legs.
Gaines’ medical situation has motivated Sistuh to Sistuh (STS) founder and vocalist Brenda Vaughn to organize a tribute to Gaines. The event, hosted by comedienne/actress Luenell (“Raising Whitley,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood”) and KBLX radio personality Nikki Thomas will take place at Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, 410 14th Street, Oakland with doors opening at 8:00 p.m.
Confirmed performers include: singer-guitarist D’Wayne Wiggins (Tony! Toni! Toné!), guitarist Levi Seacer (NPG), guitarist Tony Dwayne, keyboardist Eugene Blacknell (Con Funk Shun and The Whispers), singer -guitarist Wilton Raab (Graham Central Station) and drummer Joey Truso. Vocalists slated to appear are Tiffany Austin, Rhonda Benin (Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir), Karen Brewington, Faye Carol, Melvin Carter, Darlene Coleman, Latoya Gaines, Nikita Germaine (Train), Eleanor Harvey, Lucille Hurd, Maxine Jones (En Vogue) Michelle Jordan, Tara Kemp, Amar Khalil (Tony! Toni! Toné!), Ladee Bianca, Ms. Monét (Boz Scaggs), Charlene Moore, Terrie Odabi, Otis Redding III, Sakai Smith (Train), Sangin’ Sara (Ledisi), Brenda Vaughn, and Robin Williams.
Other artists will be announced as the date of the benefit grows closer, according to the release.
Gaines is best known as a former member of Prince’s band, the New Power Generation (NPG) who was featured on the classic single “Diamonds and Pearls” from Prince’s album of the same name. Prince’s musical relationship with Gaines started after he heard her on a demo she recorded for a song he had written. Prince was so impressed with Gaines that he asked her to join the NPG. Gaines’ three-year stint with Prince and the NPG included touring internationally as lead and backup vocalist, and keyboardist.
Upon hearing of Gaines’ situation, Prince and Sheila E. have offered and provided support for the singer.
Admission to the Rosie Gaines tribute is a minimum donation of $20 for musical artists, $30 for the general public. Proceeds from the event will go toward alleviating mounting bills and losses Gaines incurred due to her failing health as well as helping secure housing for the singer.
For more details, contact Vaughn at [email protected] or call (510) 839-4644.