The Apollo Theater is a music hall located in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, famous for launching the careers of artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, who made her singing debut at 17 years old at the Apollo, on November 21, 1934. Interestingly, she had intended to dance at the amateur night competition, deciding instead to try singing after becoming intimidated by a talented local dance duo, and won a $25 cash ‘Amateur Night’ first place prize.
Vocalist Thelma Carpenter won the amateur night in 1938, and Jimi Hendrix won the first place prize in an amateur musician contest at the Apollo in 1964. Many other legendary performers got their start at the Apollo Theater over the years, including Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown & The Famous Flames, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Parliament-Funkadelic, Wilson Pickett, The Miracles, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Dionne Warwick, The Jackson 5, Patti Austin, Patti LaBelle, Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, The Isley Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Sarah Vaughan, Jazmine Sullivan, Ne-Yo, and Machine Gun Kelly.
Amateur Night at the Apollo continues today as one of New York City’s most popular live entertainment experiences, attracting performers and audiences from around the world, and is known for its opinionated audiences deciding who will “be good or be gone” and a resident executioner to sweep bad acts off the stage.
The Apollo Theater – event calendar, tickets, education, shop
Apollo Theater and Amateur Night history – Wikipedia
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Starting with the 2019 Amateur Night at the Apollo season opener on February 20, mega talent line-ups of aspiring musicians, singers, dancers, comedians, rappers and spoken word artists are scheduled to compete for the chance to perform during at the March 13 Show Off, and move on to Top Dog competition on May 15. It starts getting intense at the final Super Top Dog competition on November 21, 2019 as a big cash prize ($20,000 in the Adult & $5,000 in the Child Star categories) is awarded the winner. Click on this link for → information on upcoming shows
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If you missed the live stream broadcast of the season opener, you can watch video recordings of the event. Just click/tap the “Watch Again” button located on the media players below ↓
Watch what you missed last year at Amateur Night at the Apollo!
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