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SPIRIT OF SYLVIA (UPDATE)

Barker Hangar in Santa Monica was filled with a heavy cast of industryites for 10/10’s City of Hope Spirit of Life gala honoring Epic Chairman Sylvia Rhone. The event raised some $4 million in the fight against cancer and other dread disease.

After the accustomed cocktail hour—gin with St. Germain, if you please—the throng of biz players repaired to their seats for dinner, speeches and music.

Vocalist Yolanda Adams offered a devotional set, after which UMPG President North America and COH industry group head Evan Lamberg welcomed the assembled faithful and sang the praises of both the honoree and City of Hope’s remarkable research and treatment work. Producer Kuk Harrell spoke of how City of Hope had been instrumental to his becoming cancer-free. A number of cancer survivors were invited to stand up and tell their stories, and each one addressed COH’s unique combination of cutting-edge treatment and moral support.

Producer Jimmy Jam, who goes way back with Rhone, offered further testimony for the org and the evening’s Spirit of Life recipient. Artists Alicia Keys and Sara Bareilles dueted powerfully on a handful of songs, with both showcasing killer vocal and piano chops.

Rhone was introduced by former Attorney General Eric Holder, whose integrity and gravitas—as more than one observer noted—are sorely missed in today’s government. Holder offered a capsule overview of Rhone’s extraordinary career and achievements and then brought her out to a roaring ovation. The Epic chief was visibly moved, noting that she’d attended such events for 20 years and watched “some amazing men” receive the central honor, but clearly relished the mantle of the first woman of color to be the honoree. She also acknowledged “the three men I ever called boss,” Roger Ames, Doug Morris and Rob Stringer.

DJ Khaled came out to introduce the great En Vogue, who sashayed through a number of their hits—clearly enthralling the crowd—before the attendees hit the dance floor or the Uber line, depending on their fatigue level. 

And Hail the Queen.

Left: Attorney General Holder presents Sylvia with her Spirit of Life award; no Ukrainians were involved. Right: Swizz Beatz, Alica Keys and Sara Bareilles salute the Queen.

City of Hope chief Robert Stone, Doug Morris, Clarence Avant, Rhone and Jon Platt wonder how we got into this event.

With Team Epic: Rick Sackheim, Courtney Lowery, Lisa DeLuca, Lisa Kasha, Melissa Thomas, Gina Harrell, Joey Arbagey, Ezekiel Lewis  and Melissa Victor; with Sony boss Rob Stringer

Rhone with Rob Light and Phil Q; Shelli and Irving Azoff, Neil Portnow and John Frankenheimer are quietly photobombed by Bruce Resnikoff

 

Forest Whitaker was totally method; Bareilles and Keys seemed to be enjoying their duet.

The mighty En Vogue, who got a roomful of industry heavies to go "oooohhh... bop."

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