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"UNCF An Evening of Stars" to air Sunday, April 26 at 10pm on BET

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UNCF
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UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) recently taped its 36th installment of UNCF An Evening of Stars®, a celebrity-packed event that raises money and awareness for minority education. The show is full of performances and scholarship presentations to inspire and support the next generation of “Rising Stars.” This year’s show highlights 19 students and presents more than one-half million dollars to students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

UNCF An Evening of Stars® will air on April 26, 2015, 10p/9c on the BET Networks. For the third consecutive year, Anthony Anderson (Blackish) serves as the show’s host. Superstars Yolanda Adams, Toni Braxton, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Estelle featuring Jussie Smollett, K. Michelle, Kem and Morris Day & The Time all deliver heartfelt performances.  Anderson presented scholarships to four students attending HBCUs, and partnered with R&B singer Ronnie DeVoe to pay off an HBCU graduate’s student loan debt. Rapper Big Sean, who performed with the Miles College Choir, and country singer Mickey Guyton, also made special scholarship presentations.

 
For 36 years, UNCF An Evening of Stars® has been the hallmark of African American superstars supporting education. In continuation of its tradition of star power giving, UNCF has partnered with leading artists, and their personal foundations, to deliver on UNCF’s motto:  “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in®.” In special pre-recorded appearances, celebrities Kevin Hart, Chris Paul, Usher Raymond and Pharrell Williams made significant scholarship donations in partnership with UNCF. Each star surprised exemplary students with notable scholarship awards to help fund their educations.

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Toni Braxton and Babyface singing their Grammy winning hit, "Hurt You."

“UNCF and its celebrity partners and sponsors, understand now is a crucial moment in which we all must recognize and demonstrate by our actions and deeds, that ‘Black Lives Matter’.  Perhaps more than ever, we must continue to fill the need UNCF has been bringing to light since its inception,” saidUNCF president and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax.  “I am immeasurably grateful to these young artists and philanthropists who are stepping up and answering our call.”

 
The City of Atlanta served as UNCF An Evening of Stars city partner, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was a presenter on the show. An array of stars in television, film, sports and music also participated: Trai Byers (Empire), Jermaine Dupri, Grace Gealey (Empire), Tamia and Grant Hill, Thomas Q. Jones, Claudia Jordan (Real Housewives of Atlanta), Keisha Knight Pulliam (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne), Ludacris, Ne-Yo, Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids) and Dr. Carolyn Williams, mother of music producer Pharrell.

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Empire's Jussie Smollett with Estelle singing "Conqueror."

This year's show was made possible by national sponsors McDonald’s and Wells Fargo. Target is an official sponsor and “Target Rising Stars” sponsor.  Buick is a major sponsor. BET Networks, iHeart Media, Inc. and Sinclair Broadcast Group serve as media partners.  The Walton Family Foundation and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are philanthropic partners.

 
UNCF An Evening of Stars was produced, for the third consecutive year, by Jesse Collins Entertainment, and taped at the Atlanta Civic Center on April 12, 2015. The show will air nationally on BET, Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 10p/9c, and also in syndication on April 25th and 26th. Check local listings for times. To support education through UNCF, text UNCF to 50555, Call 1-800-332-8623 or go to UNCF.org.