Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jonelle Procope will all be honored at the Apollo Spring Benefi on Monday, June 12, 2023.
MC Lyte, Wyclef Jean, and D-Nice are all slated to perform, with the legendary Ray Chew serving as the music director of the event.
Combs will receive the Icon Award for being one of the most successful moguls in the world of entertainment. This year, he’s celebrating the 30th anniversary of Bad Boy Records, which spawned the careers of The Notorious B.I.G., Mase, Faith Evans, 112, Total, Black Rob and many more. As a solo artist, Diddy has sold over 12 million records. In the world of spirits, his Ciroc brand is estimated to be worth $3 billion.
Abdul-Jabbar, who is regarded as one of the greatest NBA players of all time, will receive the Impact Award. For almost 30 years, he held the NBA scoring record until it was broken by LeBron James this past season. In his remarkable 20-year career, Abdul-Jabbar won 6 championships, 6 regular season MVP awards and 2 NBA Finals MVPs. As an activist and author, he has used his platforms to speak out against all forms of discrimination, including racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Semitism, and religious intolerance in all forms.
Additionally, eye brand Warby Parker will receive the Corporate Award For Outstanding Leadership in Innovation, Diversity, and Global Community
In a statement, Procope, President, and CEO of the Apollo, shared her gratitude for the distinguished honor.
“I’m humbled to join my fellow honorees on the stage this year at our annual fundraising benefit,” said Procope. “It is bittersweet to end my tenure, but I'm so proud to have been at the helm of an amazing team and overjoyed with all we have accomplished over these last 20 years. We have created a space that uplifts and supports Black artistry in its many forms, and will continue to champion the next generation of artists, community leaders, and changemakers.”
“The Apollo has long been at the intersection of artistry and activism, and this year’s theme celebrates the progression of culture and how our communities have been the leading force behind much of American entertainment,” added Kamilah Forbes, the Apollo’s Executive Producer. “Jonelle will be missed intensely, as there is no equivalent to her leadership, but we’ll take her teachings to keep The Apollo at the forefront of the arts and philanthropy.”