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.

Usher was first treated to a tribute from dancers performing his hits, before accepting the Icon Award and 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, per The Associated Press.

“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 to give his second acceptance speech for the award.

“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, according to the AP. “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 event with “Whip Appeal,” which was followed by an after-party hosted by DJ D-Nice and featuring surprise performances by Big Daddy Kane and Fat Joe.  


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