To wrap up HBO’s Bessie Smith 81 Theatre Tour, the three-day event ended on a high note with a surprise performance from Wondaland queen, Janelle Monáe.
The crowd, comprised of Bessie director Dee Rees, John Singleton, Sylvia Rhone, and AJ Calloway, eagerly danced the night away to the night’s headlining performer at New York’s Stephan Weiss Studio on Thursday night (April 30). After delivering gems at a music panel alongside OG song scribe, Bryan Michael-Cox earlier this week, singer-songwriter Stacy Barthe opened for Monáe with her stellar acoustic tunes.
Belting out melodies from her albums The ArchAndroid to Electric Lady, Monáe had all attendees on their feet with “Tightrope” and her current jam “Yoga.” The Kansas City native also amped up the energy with her sweat-inducing covers of James Brown’s “I Feel Good” and The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back.”
Peep a few Instagram clips below and images from the night’s soiree on the next page.
A video posted by Sureme Laster Bey (@sureme) on
And then @janellemonae jumped into the crowd and started singing #Yoga ” Crown on my head but the world on my shoulder, I’m too much a rebel, never do what I’m suppose to, bend it never break it baby watch & I’m a show you…baby bend over let me see you do that yoga , let you booty do that yoga”!!! #Bessie81Tour #Bessie81 #HBO
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Photos By: Dorothy Hong