2015 Grammy winner, Broadway Star and Reality Show Star to Headline
Variety’s Dinner with the Stars
Variety Welcomes Back Ken Page as the Evening’s Emcee
Variety is pleased to announce that music legend Toni Braxton will headline the Dinner with the Stars! The dinner and concert will be held at the Peabody Opera House, and also for the fourth time the entire cost will be underwritten by World Wide Technology, and the Steward Family Foundation, meaning all money raised will go to the kids. Variety Week is the pillar fundraising and awareness campaign for the charity.
“We’re extremely excited to welcome a superstar like Toni Braxton to the Variety family, and what better place to hear her sing than the amazing acoustics of the Peabody,” Jan Albus, Variety CEO.
Her distinctive sultry vocal blend of R&B, Pop, Jazz and Gospel became an instantaneous international sensation when she came forth with her first solo recording in 1992. Today, with more than 40 million albums sold worldwide and seven Grammy Awards, the latest one in 2015 for Best R&B Album.Toni Braxton is recognized as one of the most outstanding voices of this generation.
Born a preacher’s child and raised in a strict religious household, Braxton’s first professional experience singing in the church choir. She went on to perform in a group with her four sisters that were signed to Arista Records. But Braxton would make her biggest mark as a solo performer, nurtured by producers Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Her endlessly expressive voice launched an incredible run of Top 10 singles that included “Another Sad Song,” “Breathe Again” and “You’re Makin’ Me High.” But it was the smash hit “Unbreak My Heart” that would become her signature song. Showcasing Braxton’s full vocal and emotional range, the Grammy-winning ballad ranks as the second top-selling single of all time by a female artist.
In addition to her musical recording career, Braxton had successful runs on Broadway starring in “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aida,” as well as headlining her own show in Las Vegas. Braxton and her sisters currently appear in the hit reality show “Braxton Family Values” on WE tv.
Today, Braxton balances the demands of her career with the high priorities of family, health and public service as she raises her two sons Denim and Diezel, who lives with autism. Braxton’s support and activism on behalf of her younger son led to her becoming a spokesperson for Autism Speaks. As Diezel continues to progress, Braxton is sharing a message of hope.
“Today, Diezel is talking and attending a mainstream school,” Braxton says. “He still needs occupational therapy, but he is a wonderful example of what can happen with early detection and intervention.”
Dinner with the Stars caps off a full week of Variety events:
—Variety week starts Saturday, April 18, at the Union Station with the Runway Lights Fashion Show, where Variety will present a New York style runway fashion show featuring the full collection of ESCADA. The Variety Children’s Chorus will perform, and the Ameren PorwerKids will hit the runway in their power wheelchairs. Fox 2’s Mandy Murphey will emcee.
—The Week continues Tuesday, April 21m with the Fox 2/News 11 Help A Variety Kid Challenge
—Wednesday, April 22 will be Imo’s for Kids Day. Imo’s Pizza will offer at least 10 percent of profits of all sales of the Square Beyond Compare on this day to Variety. This annual event traditionally raises six figures for the children’s charity.>
Young Variety’s Night of the Rising Stars will take place on Friday, April 24, at Ballpark Village.
—Dinner with the Stars This year marks Marilyn Fox’s 18th year as Dinner with the Stars Chairman. This year Variety will honor Danny Ludeman as Variety’s Man of the Year and Alison Ferring as Variety’s Woman of the Year. Last year’s Dinner with the Stars, featuring Harry Connick, Jr. raised a record-breaking $2.5 million for Variety.
In 2014, Variety Week raised $4.8 million for St. Louis children with physical and developmental disabilities. Every dollar raised during Variety Week stays in St. Louis to purchase vital medical equipment and fund specialized programs for te families Variety serves each year.
About Variety – the Children’s Charity of St. Louis
Since 1932, Variety – the Children’s Charity serves children with physical and developmental disabilities in the St. Louis region, from infancy to age 21. Variety focuses on five core areas to help kids become independent and productive: gifting medical equipment for mobility and independence; developing unique education and recreational programs; funding therapy and Sunshine Coach Vans. Variety partners with 60 agencies to support programs and give scholarships that directly impact the lives of Variety children. For more information, visit www.varietystl.org.
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