THE APOLLO’S ASSOCIATION WITH SIRIUSXM ENTERS NEW CHAPTER WITH $5 MILLION GIFT FOR THE SUPPORT OF ARTISTS AND ACCESS FOR NEW AUDIENCES
Apollo Naming Orchestra Level of Historic Theater After SiriusXM; Apollo and SiriusXM, committed to supporting diverse artists, have created special nights at the famed theater for more than a decade
The Apollo, one of America’s cultural treasures, announced today it received a $5 million gift from Sirius XM Radio Inc., the leading audio entertainment company in North America, building on the organization’s over a decade relationship. In recognition of the gift and for the many special performances held by SiriusXM at the theater since 2010, the Apollo will name the Orchestra Level of the historic theater the SiriusXM Orchestra. SiriusXM’s exclusive shows at the Apollo further both the Apollo and SiriusXM’s support of artists and help create access for a wide range of audiences.
The generous donation, which comes at a pivotal moment for the non-profit as it opens its doors in January for the winter/spring 2022 season, helps support the Apollo’s mission to create and present work that center Black artists and voices from the African Diaspora. The gift to the Apollo was funded by the company’s charitable arm, SiriusXM Cares.
Over the past 88 years, the Apollo has hosted audiences from all over the world and launched the careers of incredible artists from Aretha Franklin and James Brown to Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo and countless more. And since 2010, SiriusXM has held a series of critically acclaimed and first-ever performances at the theater featuring a range of artists including Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, U2, Pitbull, and Bruce Springsteen.
In recent months, as part of the Apollo and SiriusXM’s more than decade-long relationship, the organizations have presented an array of invitation-only concerts for SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora listeners, including Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys, who gave a special performance in her hometown of New York City last month; the singer-songwriter H.E.R., who originally debuted on the theater’s stage as part of “Showtime at the Apollo”; and Coldplay, who made their Apollo debut as part of SiriusXM and Pandora’s Small Stage Series in September. At the time, Coldplay front man Chris Martin shared with the audience, “We’ve been dreaming of playing here for a long, long time.”
“I am incredibly grateful to SiriusXM for their continued commitment to the Apollo and their immense generosity. Bringing together the country’s leading audio entertainment company and the world’s leading home for Black artists is an ideal match, and it’s been an honor to work with them to bring performances from some of the most iconic performers to the Apollo Stage,” said Apollo President and CEO Jonelle Procope. “The Apollo has long been a vibrant platform for artistic innovation, from musical and comedy performances to timely conversations on topics facing our communities. I look forward to our continued collaboration with SiriusXM as we celebrate Black excellence on our stages.”
“Ever since we held our first special concert there in 2010 with Paul McCartney, we have seen why the Apollo is hallowed ground for artists, their joy and excitement so visible as they perform on its stage,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer of SiriusXM. “We are proud to support the Apollo and its mission, and we look forward to bringing many more great shows to the world-famous Apollo.”
Looking ahead to 2022, the Apollo will offer a dynamic line-up of free and ticketed programs in person at the Apollo’s historic theater and online on the Apollo Digital Stage. Highlights include the long-anticipated return of the Amateur Night at the Apollo competition on Wednesday, February 16 at 7:30pm EST; Apollo Master Artist-in-Residence Ta-Nehisi Coates and The Roots’ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, in conversation; the Lyricist Lounge 30th Anniversary Concert featuring hip-hop trailblazers to be announced; the premiere of The Gathering: A Collective Ring Shout, co-presented by the American Composers Orchestra and the Apollo and co-curated by National Black Theatre; the return of the Africa Now! Festival featuring East African jazz vocalist and Grammy nominee Somi; and more. As with all of its programming, the non-profit Apollo’s season centers Black artists and voices from the African Diaspora with myriad opportunities for artists and audiences to come back together at the iconic theater. For a complete line-up and more information about the Apollo, please visit www.ApolloTheater.org.
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About the Apollo Theater
The legendary Apollo—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.
With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals and large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about the Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) is the leading audio entertainment company in North America, and the premier programmer and platform for subscription and digital advertising-supported audio products. SiriusXM’s platforms collectively reach approximately 150 million listeners, the largest digital audio audience across paid and free tiers in North America, and deliver music, sports, talk, news, comedy, entertainment, and podcasts. Pandora, a subsidiary of SiriusXM, is the largest ad-supported audio entertainment streaming service in the U.S. SiriusXM's subsidiaries Stitcher, Simplecast, and AdsWizz make it a leader in podcast hosting, production, distribution, analytics, and monetization. The Company’s advertising sales organization, which operates as SXM Media, leverages its scale, cross-platform sales organization, and ad tech capabilities to deliver results for audio creators and advertisers. SiriusXM, through Sirius XM Canada Holdings, Inc., also offers satellite radio and audio entertainment in Canada. In addition to its audio entertainment businesses, SiriusXM offers connected vehicle services to automakers. For more about SiriusXM, please go to: www.siriusxm.com.
Photo: Alicia Keys performing on the Apollo Historic Theater Main Stage in November as part of SiriusXM's concert series. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris.