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Category: Performing Arts
Located at 253 W. 125th Street in Harlem the Apollo grew to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance of the pre-World War II years. In 1934, it introduced its regular Amateur Night shows.
Billing itself as a place "where stars are born and legends are made," the Apollo became famous for launching the careers of artists like Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Gladys Knight, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, Lauryn Hill, and Sarah Vaughan. The Apollo also featured the performances of old-time vaudeville favourites like Tim Moore, Stepin Fetchit, Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham, Jackie "Moms" Mabley, Marshall "Garbage" Rogers, and Johnny Lee.
The club fell into decline in the 1960s and 1970s, but was revived in 1983, when it obtained federal, state and city landmark status. It fully reopened in 1985, and was bought by the State of New York in 1991. It is now run by a nonprofit organization, the Apollo Theater Foundation Inc., and draws an estimated 1.3 million visitors annually. In 2005, Ben Harper and The Blind Boys of Alabama released an album Live at the Apollo in honor of the Harlem music scene.
It is the home of Showtime at the Apollo, a nationally syndicated variety show consisting of new talent.
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