The tribute will feature Johnny Gill, Eddie Levert and Dennis Edwards, all veteran rhythm and blues vocalists, and will be held at the Kennedy Center. The hosts of the event are actor Samuel L. Jackson, another Morehouse man, and his wife, actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson.
During the evening Morehouse will honor singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder for his efforts to mark King’s birthday as a national holiday and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich) for his legislation that authorized the holiday.
Tickets are $100 and are available through the Kennedy Center. Also, the center has scheduled three evenings of free performances at 6 p.m. on its Millennium Stage to honor King. Maggie Ingram and the Ingramettes and the Seven Sons of Soul will perform gospel classics on August 26. Marlena Smalls and the Hallelujah Singers will appear August 27. A program of spoken word, called “The Dream Remix” will be hosted by Holly Bass on August 28.
The participants in the Morehouse tribute have ties to King, who was one of many members of his family that graduated from the college. King finished in 1948.
Jackson, class of ‘72, is scheduled to make his Broadway debut this fall in “The Mountaintop,” a play about events the night before King was assassinated.
Wonder wrote the catchy anthem “Happy Birthday” to rally suppport for the King Holiday. Here is a video tribute to King with a soundtrack of Wonder’s song.