Jamie Foxx, Gladys Knight cheer on Apollo Live
Posted August 3, 2012
A new version of the prototypical talent show is coming back: Apollo Live, from Harlem's famed Apollo Theater, returns on Centric, BET's sibling cable network, Dec. 1 (following a Nov. 25 preview on both channels).
This time, Jamie Foxx is an executive producer, and soul superstar Gladys Knight joins hip hop's Doug E. Fresh and R&B producer Michael Bivins on a panel who give guidance.
Knight was a guest judge in an early American Idol season, and says that show's contestants got plenty of help from vocal coaches and stylists. "When you step on the stage at the Apollo, you probably just came from your apartment. It's raw, it's live, and you've got enough heart to step out on stage and do it like that, win or lose."
The show, hosted by comedian Tony Rock (Chris' brother), is a new spin on the theater's long-running Amateur Night competitions and feature music, comedy and other talent showcases. And the audience isn't shy about reacting: "They tell you what they didn't like about your act," Fresh says.
Foxx has been "booed at the Apollo; I'm going to come on and let them know how tough it is," he says. "When you go out on that stage and you feel the history of every one that's been on that stage, from James Brown to the Jacksons, there's something special (about) keeping that alive."
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