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Monday marked the 78th anniversary of the opening of the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. The Apollo is a national landmark and still stands in New York City as a symbol of Black music and culture. Its significance is perhaps best exemplified by the many entertainers who got their start there in keeping with its reputation as a place “where stars are born and legends are made.”

In 1934, the Apollo opened as a showcase for black artists after previously being an all-white music hall and burlesque house. According to the Apollo’s official history, the opening-night show featured  number of acts, including 16 dancers billed as “Gorgeous Hot-Steppers.”

The Apollo Theater was a launching pad for acts such as: Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown,the Jackson 5, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Lauryn Hilland Jazmine Sullivan, among others.

Head on over to The Grio and learn more about the legendary Apollo and peep the slide show of some of music’s biggest stars who got their break at the famed venue.

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