A Special About "Legends Ball" Airs
Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball was a three-day celebration honoring twenty-five African American women in the fields of art, entertainment, and civil rights.
The celebration included a luncheon, white-tie ball, and Gospel brunch. On May 22, 2006, a year after the celebration, a one-hour special about the weekend aired on ABC. It included candid celebrity interviews and behind-the-scenes moments.
The twenty-five women included Maya Angelou, Shirley Caesar, Diahann Carroll, Elizabeth Catlett, Ruby Dee, Katherine Dunham, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Nikki Giovanni, Dorothy Height, Lena Horne, Coretta Scott King, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Toni Morrison, Rosa Parks, Leontyne Price, Della Reese, Diana Ross, Naomi Sims, Tina Turner, Cicely Tyson, Alice Walker, Dionne Warwick, and Nancy Wilson.
The weekend began on Friday with a private luncheon at Oprah's Montecito home where the "legends" were greeted by the "young'uns" — participants included Michelle Obama, Yolanda Adams, Debbie Allen, Tyra Banks, Angela Bassett, Kathleen Battle, Halle Berry, Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Naomi Campbell, Mariah Carey, Ashanti, Natalie Cole, Kimberly Elise, Missy Elliott, Pam Grier, Iman, Beverly Johnson, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashād, Valerie Simpson, Anna Deavere Smith and Alfre Woodard, among others. Throughout the weekend, the "young'uns" paid homage to the "legends" for their great contributions. Event planner Colin Cowie coordinated the event, and Grammy Award-winner John Legend performed his song, "Ordinary People". At the end of the lucheon, Oprah surprised her guests with a parting gift. The "legends" received diamond drop earrings and the "young'uns" received diamond hoop earrings.