Written by | Ray Cornelius

The city of Atlanta’s 31st Annual Mayor’s Masked Ball was held recently at the fabulous Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The fundraising gala benefited 37 UNCF member colleges and universities including Clark-Atlanta University, Morehouse and Spelman Colleges and recognized the immeasurable contributions of civil rights pioneers, Dr. C.T. Vivian and Dr. Joseph Lowery.

Mayor Reed and Michael Lomax

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed with UNCF’s Dr. Michael Lomax

The event was hosted by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and First Lady Sarah Elizabeth Reed along with President and CEO of UNCF Michael Lomax. Co-Chairs included General Manager of Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Erica Qualls-Battey; Publisher of Atlanta Business Chronicle, Ed Baker; and Thomas Dortch of TWD.

Chris Tucker and date

Chris Tucker with Fox 5 Atlanta’s Cynne Simpson

A bevy of ATL celebrities were in attendance including rappers Ludacris, Young Jeezy and Big Boi; actors Chris Tucker, Jasmine Burke, Brad James, and Palmer Williams. Reality stars DJ Traci Steele, Phaedra Parks, Dwight Eubanks were also spotted along with media personality Fonzworth Bentley and filmmaker Will “Power” Packer.  There was also a Parade of Masks led by the Bahamas Masqueraders and Junkanoo Carnival 2015 and live music from CAU’s world-renowned Jazz Orchestra.

Jeezy Luda and Chaka

Rappers Young and Ludacris with DTP CEO Chaka Zulu

Closing out the evening was 10-time Grammy-winning vocalist Chaka Khan, who performed a medley of her biggest hits including “Through the Fire,” “I Feel for You,” “I’m Every Woman” and “Everlasting Love.” She was also awarded the city’s highest honor(The Phoenix Award) for her indelible imprint on the music industry and her numerous philanthropic efforts.

Check out more photos below:

Jasmine Burke and Mother Patrice

Actress Jasmine Burke with her mother/Author Patrice Cunningham + guest

Michael Lomax and CT Vivian

Dr. Michael Lomax with honoree Dr. C.T. Vivian

 Pearl Cleage Dwight and Phaedra

Author Pearl Cleage and daughter Deignan /RHOA’s Dwight Eubanks and Phaedra Parks

Yung Jeezy and date

Young Jeezy + guest

Brad James Hank Aaron

Actor Brad James and singer Ahki/Baseball legend Hank Aaron

Hands up 2

Will Packer, Mayor Reed, Young Jeezy, Ludacris and Jonathan Slocumb “Hands Up”

Alexis Cierra Mya

Former “American Idol” contestant Alexis Cierra + guest/Beauty Maven Maya Sly

Traci Steele Kathleen Bertrand

DJ Traci Steele/Jazz vocalist & BLFF’s Kathleen Bertrand + guest

Big Boi

 Antwan “Big Boi” Patton and wife Sherlita Patton at Gala Dinner

Chaka 2

Chaka Khan performing “I Feel for You”

Chaka 3

Chaka Khan is a 10-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter

social media shot

The power of social media

Chaka receiving Phoenix

Chaka Khan receiving the Phoenix Award from Mayor Kasim Reed & First Lady Sarah Elizabeth Reed

Check out Chaka Khan singing “Through the Fire” below:

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Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com