Written by | Ray Cornelius
The UNCF An Evening of Stars program was taped Sunday at the beautiful Atlanta Civic Center. The annual fundraiser, which provides scholarship dollars for over 60,000 students attending historically black colleges and universities, was met with much fanfare and delight.
The evening was hosted once again by “black-ish” star and executive producer, Anthony Anderson and included special appearances by “Furious 7” star Chris “Ludacris” Bridges; Grammy winning-singer, Ne-Yo; hip-hop mogul, Jermaine Dupri; “Empire” stars Grace Gealey and Trai Byers; RHOA beauty, Claudia Jordan; Actress and HBCU alum, Keshia Knight-Pulliam; “Devious Maids” actress Dania Ramirez; Comedian, Jonathan Slocumb; New Edition member, Ronnie Devoe; “Being Mary Jane” actor, Thomas Q. Jones; R&B songstress Tamia with her former NBA player husband, Grant Hill and Diesel Braxton, son of Toni Braxton.
Other invited guests included Princess Monique, Demetria McKinney, Roger M. Bobb, Mona Scott-Young and Trina & Towanda Braxton. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed made a special presentation on behalf of Usher’s New Look Foundation as well as Carolyn Williams, mother of Pharrell Williams. She represented her son who provided a scholarship on behalf of his foundation, From One Hand to Another.
Performers included rapper, Big Sean along with the Miles College Choir; R&B maestro, KEM; country music sensation, Mickey Guyton; R&B vixen and HBCU alum, K. Michelle; Grammy legends, Toni Braxton with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds; and R&B icons, Morris Day and the Time, who closed out the show with a medley of their hits.
Must see performances included Yolanda Adams singing the Mahalia Jackson classic, “How I Got Over” with the Talladega College Choir as well as Jussie Smollett and Estelle’s duet of “Conqueror.” Other incredible highlights were the heartfelt personal stories from this year’s Target Rising Star Students including the first ever award’s presentation to autistic student, Terrance Brice. He received $10,000 from Braxton’s Autism Foundation.
Check out the red carpet photos below and stay tuned for exclusive red carpet videos that will be posted all this week and next leading up the television broadcast of the show on Sunday, April 26 at 10 p.m. on BET.
Filmmaker Princess Monique with RHOA star Demetria McKinney
UNCF An Evening of Stars’ host and HBCU alum, Anthony Anderson
Toni Braxton performed and also presented a special scholarship on behalf of her foundation
“Empire” star Trai Byers was a presenter
Tamia was also a presenter along with her husband Grant Hill
“Empire” starlet Grace Gealey was a presenter and looked radiant on the red carpet
“Empire” star Jussie Smollett was all smiles on the red carpet
Photo Credits: MalcolmEX