The nation’s longest-running musical AIDS benefit, DIVAS Simply Singing!, hosted its 29th annual fundraiser for the DIVA Foundation at the Taglyan Cultural Center in Hollywood, California, on World AIDS Day, December 1. Created and produced by Tony Award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and benefitting Project Angel Food, the evening of song and entertainment spotlighted the talents of DIVA ((Divinely Inspired, Victoriously Aware) individuals from all walks of show business. The foundation stems from Sheryl’s deep concern for the lack of attention given to AIDS in the early years of its discovery and its potential to become a health risk not only for men but also for women and children. Continuing to serve as a loving tribute for those diagnosed with and affected by HIV/AIDS, the goal of DIVAS Simply Singing! is to erase stigma, raise awareness and promote HIV/AIDS prevention through arts and education. The DIVA Foundation uses the transformational power of the arts as a vehicle to raise funds, awareness, erase the stigma still connected to HIV/AIDS, mental wellness and to educate people about STDs, including HIV, hepatitis C and other life-threatening diseases. As its mission statement says, “We simply dare to care.” Project Angel Food, for which Sheryl serves a trustee, is the proud beneficiary of this year’s DIVAS Simply Singing! proceeds. For 30 years, that organization’s volunteers and staff cook and deliver nutritious meals, free of charge, to homes throughout Los Angeles County to alleviate hunger, prevent malnutrition and return their clients to health.
DIVAS 2019 honored 10-time Academy Award nominee and Grammy-, Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning songwriter Diane Warren with the DIVAS Legacy Award at the 29th Annual DIVAS Simply Singing! event. A tribute of her many hits was featured in the evening filled with spectacular performances, including Sheryl’s rendition of “Because You Loved Me; Emmy, Grammy- and Tony Award-nominated actor/producer Brandon Victor Dixon version of the iconic “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and “Stand Up for Something” from the film Marshall. Shangela opened the evening with “Rhythm of the Night.” In addition, there were performances by multiplatinum-selling recording artist and Grammy nominee Deborah Cox; singer, songwriter, speaker and actress Rhonda Ross; Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Shanice; Grammy-nominated recording artist and international entertainerKathy Sledge; singer and Empire actor Terrell Carter. There were also appearances by Brandy, LisaRaye McCoy, William Allen Young, Flame Monroe, Erica Ash, Deborah Joy Winans, Frankie Grande, Parnell Damone Marcano and many others. All of the concert’s participants’ lives have been touched or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Check out photos from the extraordinary 2019 DIVAS SIMPLY SINGING gala below:
For more information on the DIVA Foundation, visit www.diva.foundation.