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12 Jun 2015

Patti LaBelle will kick-off the Dell Music Center’s 2015 Essence of Entertainment Concert Season on July 9th

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June 12, 2015 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Dell Music Center (

This summer’s cultural and community programming at the Dell will include performances from Philadanco, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Divas Simply Singing, and free movie nights!

Philadelphia’s own Diva, living legend Patti LaBelle, will light up the stage at the Dell Music Center on July 9 to kick off the 2015 Essence of Entertainment concert series.  Appearing at the Dell for the first time will be Grammy Award winner Toni Braxton.  Also gracing the stage will be world-renowned artists Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Fantasia, Anthony Hamilton, Stephanie Mills, Larry Graham and Rose Royce. The recently renovated Dell Music Center is a world-class amphitheater nestled in East Fairmount Park.  Constructed in 1929 as the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dell is known as a cultural gem. The venue offers top-notch amenities and quality entertainment at a fraction of the cost of comparable venues.

New this season, performing at The Dell are several local Philadelphia artists who won the PHL Live contest.

This summer’s line-up of stars includes:

patti labelle_02

Patti LaBelle (Photo:

• Patti Labelle: Fresh from a turn on “Dancing with the Stars,” this Philadelphia born and bred singer, actress and author most recently appeared on the popular television series “American Horror Story.”  Widely regarded as the queen of rock & soul, the Grammy-award winner has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is in the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame.  Acclaimed for many hit songs including “Lady Marmalade,” “When You Talk About Love,” and “New Attitude,” the multi-talented artist has also penned her autobiography and two cookbooks. 

erykah badu (Photo:

erykah badu (Photo:

• Erykah Badu: The acclaimed Queen of Neo-Soul is known for infusing her music with elements from R&B, hip hop and jazz. Her debut single “On and on” won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1998 Grammy Awards. Since then she has chalked up two Platinum albums and a series of hit singles, including “Didn’t Cha Know?” “Cleva,” “Danger,” “Back in the Day (Puff)” and “You Better Call Tyrone.” She is also an accomplished actress, known for supporting roles in movies including Blues Brothers 2000, The Cider House Rules and House of D.

• Rose Royce: The American soul and R&B group is best known for hit singles including “Car Wash,” “I Wanna Get Next to You,” “I’m Going Down,” “Wishing on a Star,” and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.”

• Toni Braxton: With more than 40 million albums sold worldwide and six Grammy Awards, Braxton is one of the outstanding voices of this generation. She has starred on Broadway in “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aida” and is currently enjoying huge success with her “Braxton Family Values” reality show on the WE network.

• Fantasia: This former American Idol winner is back by popular demand. The Grammy Award winning, triple platinum selling singer most recently appeared on Broadway in “After Midnight.”

Anthony Hamilton (Photo:

Anthony Hamilton (Photo:

• Anthony Hamilton: This Grammy-Award winning multi-talented singer/songwriter is known for his rich, soul-steeped vocals. His arresting voice was the perfect accompaniment to Philadelphia’s own Jill Scott’s earthy vocals on “So in Love,” which set a record for most weeks as #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.

• Stephanie Mills: The legendary American Music Award and Grammy-winning recording artist has five best-selling albums and 10 Billboard #1 singles.  The ultra-soulful songstress has an onstage energy and power that inspires standing ovations wherever she performs.

• Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds: One of the originators of new jack swing, American R&B musician, singer-songwriter, and record producer has written and produced over 26 No. 1 R&B hits throughout his career, in addition to winning 11 Grammies.

• Larry Graham: Graham the original bassist for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone performed hits like “Dance to The Music” and “One in a Million,” He went on to become the driving force behind Graham Central Station, whose hit songs “Jam” and “Your Love” broke the Top 10 . 

This summer, for the first time, Tuesday Night at the Movies will be on the menu at The Dell.  Screening this summer are Frozen for family night on June 9, and 22 Jump Street for action night on June 23.  Doors will open at 7:30 PM and the movie will begin promptly at 8:30 PM.  For community engagement night on July 7, Selma will be shown promptly at 7:00 PM with the doors opening at 6:00 PM.  The movies are free to the public. Food trucks will sell snacks and light fare.

In addition, the summer spectacular will include:

• Sheryl Lee Ralph, bringing the East Coast premiere of her “Divas Simply Singing” concert toThe Dell.  Divas Simply Singing is the longest running benefit concert in the country in conjunction with World AIDS Day and utilizes star power to help raise money, awareness and erase stigma associated with patients who have contracted the disease. Divas singing will be Faith Evans, Kelly Price along with Philadelphia’s Carol Riddick, Jaguar Wright, and The Urban Gorilla Orchestra and much more.

• The Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra will return to The Dell in June. Under the leadership of award-winning Music Director Jeri Lynne Johnson, BPCO performs classical music in a way that reflects the ethnic and gender diversity among its musicians while also fostering community engagement.  Also appearing with BPCO is PHL Live winner, Abigail Hong on violin.

• PHILADANCO, long recognized for artistic integrity, superbly trained dancers and electrifying performances, will again grace The Dell stage in July. Founded in 1970, PHILADANCO has a legacy of breaking barriers and building bridges across cultural divides, consistently performing for audiences representing a blend of people from diverse communities.  Part of its mission is to empower youth with crucial leadership and development skills that facilitate achievement and success in the world of dance and everyday life.

The 2015 Essence of Entertainment lineup features the following performers:

July 9, at 7:00 p.m.

Patti LaBelle/Jeff Bradshaw & Friends/Pamela “The Saxtress” Williams

July 16, at 7:00 p.m.

Rose Royce / Heatwave / Bloodstone / Chi-Lites

July 23, at 7:00 p.m.

Toni Braxton / Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds/Mint Condition

July 30, at 7:00 p.m.

Fantasia and Johnny Gill

August 6, at 7:00 p.m.

Anthony Hamilton / Lyfe Jennings

August 13, at 7:00 p.m.

Erykah Badu / Estelle

August 20, at 7:00 p.m.

Stephanie Mills / Boney James / After 7

August 27, at 7:00 p.m. 

Larry Graham & Graham Central Station / Bootsy Collins / Breakwater

Movies and Cultural Programs:

June 9 at 8:30 p.m.

Frozen (FREE) Family Night

June 23 at 8:30 p.m.

22 Jump Street (FREE) Action Night

June 27th at 7:00 p.m.

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra

July 7 at 7:00 p.m.

Selma (FREE) Community Engagement Night

July 17th at 7:30 p.m.

Philadanco 4th Annual Founders Day Concert

Information about tickets for individual shows can be obtained at The Dell Box Office or Ticketmaster. Visit The Dell website:

Follow the Dell on Twitter @DellMusicCenter and “Like” us on Facebook.

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