Melissa Etheridge, Smokey Robinson, Johnny Mathis and Kimberley Locke will be among the performers at the Society of Singers' (SOS) presentation of the 16th ELLA Award to the legendary soul, pop, gospel and R&B singer Gladys Knight. Comedian, actor and singer Wayne Brady will sing a song and also host the event, which will take place at the Beverly Hilton on September 10, 2007, and include a silent auction, live auction, dinner and includes surprise performances by stars who have not yet been announced. The benefit Co-Chairs for the event are Society of Singers president and chief executive officer Jerry F. Sharell and Universal Music Group's president and chief operating officer, Zach Horowitz. Honorary Co-Chairs for the event are Clarence Avant, Interior Music and Johnny Mathis.
Named after its first recipient, Ella Fitzgerald, the ELLA Award is given to singers whose significant musical accomplishments are equaled by their dedication to charitable and humanitarian causes both local and international. Previous recipients of the award, besides Ms. Fitzgerald herself, include Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Lena Horne, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Placido Domingo, Celine Dion and Elton John.
A seven-time Grammy Award winner with Number One hits in the pop, R&B and Adult Contemporary formats, Gladys Knight has been honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and many others. She has released close to 40 albums over the years, and had Top 10 hits in the '60s ("I Heard It Through the Grapevine"), '70s ("Midnight Train to Georgia") and '80s ("That's What Friends Are For"). She is also active in the American Diabetes Association, the American Cancer Society, the Minority AIDS Project and amFAR, among others.
Tickets for the ELLA Award dinner and award presentation range from $600 to $2,500, with all proceeds to benefit the Society of Singers, a non-profit organization that offers comprehensive services to meet the emergency financial needs of professional singers worldwide. For more information, please consult http://www.singers.org or call (818) 995-7100.