Elle Varner, MC Lyte and Rickey Smiley

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Atlantans came out in numbers Thursday night for AT&T’s 28 Days Speaker Series featuring Hip Hop pioneer MC Lyte.  The free event was held at The Tabernacle and was hosted by comedian and radio personality Rickey Smiley as well as a hot musical performance from Grammy-nominated R&B sensation Elle Varner.

AT& T 28 Days is a multi-speaker series that aims to inspire, motivate and challenge consumers to rethink what they can achieve in their lives.  The annual event, which is now in its fifth year, features celebrities and thought leaders that take a forward approach at making history while urging consumers to do the same during Black History Month.

The evening began with Smiley and his infamous “church announcements” which had the audience in stitches. MC Lyte then led the sold-out crowd on a spiritual journey of her story book career, explaining that she always knew that she would inspire her generation but didn’t know it would be through music. The iconic lyricist then reminded everyone, especially the youth, about the benefits in taking constructive criticism, guarding their words and thoughts and believing in the “unstoppable” power of hope and faith. “Whatever you say, it’s true. Whatever you think, will be,”  said Lyte.

After her presentation, the audience was treated to an acoustic set from vocalist Elle Varner and her “beatbox genius” Anointed-S. Varner, who was recently on tour with Trey Songz and Miguel, belted out a few untitled songs as well as her new single, “Not Tonight.” She closed the show with the crowd favorite and Grammy-nominated hit, “Refill.”

AT&T’s 28 Days next stop is Detroit’s Millennium Centre on February 27 featuring MSNBC contributor, Jeff Johnson.

Photography Credit: CourtneyLuv.com