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Usher, Babyface honored at Apollo’s spring benefit


Photo by Shahar Azran/FilmMagic

The Apollo Theater’s annual spring benefit was held Tuesday, with honorees Usher and Babyface in attendance.

As The Associated Press reports, Usher was first treated to a tribute from dancers performing his hits, including “Burn,” “Caught Up” and “Confessions Part II.” He then accepted the Icon Award, sharing his full-circle moment with the crowd.

“I remember thinking, ‘Man, someday I’m gonna make it to that stage,’ and ‘hopefully one day, I’ll get a standing ovation.’ I stand before you humbled by your appreciation,” he began.

“You know, they say if you make it in New York, you can make it anywhere,” Usher continued. “Well, if you can make it to The Apollo, you can do anything.”

Babyface, who had received the inaugural legacy award at the Apollo’s Walk of Fame ceremony Monday, later took the stage, following a sing-along of his song “Soon As I Get Home,” led by Fat Joe and Kwanza Jones.

“To be here at The Apollo — what’s so hard for me to find the words, because if I’m honest, I just never saw myself as like being on The Apollo stage. I was always the guy behind the scenes and writing songs for everyone else,” he said in his second acceptance speech for the award. “I am just in awe to be considered as part of this.”

“I’m just going to thank everybody. Normally I stand up here, I’m funnier than this,” he continued. “Usually, I am. But I’m just, I’m really just so taken by this, and I just want to thank you for the bottom of my heart. I appreciate it.”

Babyface then watched as singers performed Toni Braxton‘s “You Mean the World to Me,” Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and other songs he produced. He wrapped up the night with “Whip Appeal.”


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