Wednesday, April 17, 2024

White House Tribute to Ray Charles Has Soul Man Sam Moore Leading Usher, Yolanda Adams, R&B Stars, and Demi Lovato


The best show of the week will be live streamed Wednesday from the White House of all place. That’s when the Smithsonian tribute to Ray Charles takes place, to be shown on Friday night on PBS.

“Soul Man” Sam Moore is the only performer on the guest list who actually knew Ray, so he’ll be leading a bunch of young -uns including Usher, Yolanda Adams, Anthony Hamilton, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, Leon Bridges, Andra Day, Jussie Smollett from “Empire,” and, hmmm…. Demi Lovato through the massive Ray Charles songbook. Rickey Minor is musical director.

Moore, a youthful 80, and Howard ripped it up last fall at Eddie Murphy’s Mark Twain prize concert for PBS, so this will be a happy reunion.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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