DIVAS Simply Singing!, the longest consecutive running musical AIDS benefit in the United States, hosted its 29th annual fundraiser for The D.I.V.A. Foundation at the Taglyan Cultural Center in Hollywood, California on World AIDS Day, Sunday, December 1. Created and produced by Tony Award-Winning Sheryl Lee Ralph and benefitting Project Angel Food, the evening of song and entertainment spotlights the talents of D.I.V.A. (acronym for Divinely Inspired, Victoriously Aware) individuals from all walks of show business. The foundation stems from Sheryl’s deep concern for the lack of attention given to AIDS in the early years of its discovery and its potential to become a health risk not only for men but women and children. Continuing to serve as a loving tribute for those diagnosed with and affected by HIV/AIDs, the goal of DIVAS Simply Singing! is to erase stigma, raise awareness and promote HIV/AIDS prevention through arts and education. The D.I.V.A. Foundation uniquely uses the transformational power of the arts as a vehicle to raise funds, awareness, erase the stigma still connected to HIV/AIDS, mental wellness, and educate people about STDs, including HIV, Hepatitis C, and other life-threatening diseases. As their mission statement says, “We simply dare to care.” Project Angel Food, for whom Sheryl Lee Ralph is a Trustee, is the proud beneficiary of this year’s DIVAS Simply Singing! For 30 years volunteers and staff cook and deliver nutritious meals, free of charge, to homes throughout Los Angeles County to alleviate hunger, prevent malnutrition and returns their clients to health.
DIVAS 2019 honored Grammy, Golden Globe, Emmy winning, and 10-time Oscar nominee, legendary songwriter Diane Warren with the DIVASLegacy Award at the 29th Annual DIVAS Simply Singing. A tribute of her many hits was featured in the evening filled with spectacular performances, including Sheryl Lee Ralph singing Because You Loved Me; Emmy, two-time Grammy and Tony Award-nominated actor/producer Brandon Victor Dixon sang the iconic I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing and Stand Up For Something from the film “Marshall”. Shangela opened the evening with a rendition of Rhythm of the Night, with additional performances by multi-platinum recording artist & Grammy nominee Deborah Cox; singer, songwriter, speaker and actress Rhonda Ross, Shanice (Grammy Nominated Singer & Songwriter), Kathy Sledge (Grammy Nominated Recording Artist & International Entertainer), Terrell Carter (Singer and Actor from FOX’s Empire), and appearances by Brandy, LisaRaye McCoy, William Allen Young, Flame Monroe, Erica Ash, Deborah Joy Winans, Frankie Grande, Parnell Damone Marcano and many more! All of the concert’s participants’ lives have been touched or affected by HIV/AIDS.
About the DIVA Foundation
The DIVA Foundation is a nonprofit 501c (3) charitable organization founded by Sheryl Lee Ralph in 1990 as a memorial to the many friends she lost to HIV/AIDS while in the original Broadway company of Dreamgirls. The organization focuses on generating resources and coordinating activities to create awareness of and combat against HIV/AIDS. The DIVA Foundation utilizes music and entertainment as a vehicle to inform, educate and erase the stigma still attached to this disease. In 2005, Sheryl Lee Ralph and the DIVA Foundation received the first Red Ribbon Leadership Award at the United Nations on World AIDS Day for the unique use of the arts in fighting HIV/AIDS. The DIVA Foundation is celebrating 30 years of committed service to community health awareness, and Project Angel Food is a proud beneficiary of the longest-running musical benefit of its kind in the country!
About Project Angel Food
Since its inception thirty years ago, Project Angel Food has prepared and delivered 12 million meals – currently 15,000 per week – free of charge to men, women and children living with critical illnesses. Project Angel Food has expanded its initial mission from serving people living with HIV/AIDS to include medically tailored meals, prepared by the staff and volunteers, for those combating cancer, kidney failure, diabetes and congestive heart disease. The mission has always remained intact, to feed and nourish the sick, by delivering healthy nutritious meals throughout 4,400 square miles of Los Angeles County. More than 98% of Project Angel Food clients are living at or below the poverty level, and Project Angel Food is their lifeline, filling a vital need in all communities. The client demographics are a testimony to this, 38% Latino, 27% African-American, 24% Caucasian, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American and 4% Multicultural.