Entertainment & Arts

Apollo stars for James Brown and Smokey Robinson

Workman with theatre president Jonelle Procope, centre, and historian Billy Mitchell
Image caption Walk of fame plaques were installed in a ceremony on Monday

James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and Smokey Robinson have been honoured on a new walk of fame at the Apollo Theater in New York's Harlem.

Other artists who have been honoured with plaques on the pavement in front of the theatre include Little Richard, Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight.

Michael Jackson, who launched his career there with The Jackson Five in 1967, will also be honoured.

Robinson, 70, said his was "one of the proudest achievements in my life".

"I started out at the Apollo and it will always be a home to me," said Robinson, who first performed at the venue with his band, the Miracles, in 1959.

"I always say, if they tear down 125th Street and everything on it, please leave the Apollo standing," he added.

LaBelle, 65, said she was "humbled" to be part of the Apollo's "rich and continued legacy".

The plaques were installed on Monday as part of the Apollo's 75th anniversary celebrations.

The music hall - which inherited its name from a 19th Century theatre - became renowned as the launch pad for a generation of R&B stars, including Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Ben E King.

James Brown was a regular visitor, and recorded four concert albums in the venue - including the influential and incendiary Live At The Apollo, released in 1963.

The soul star's body was displayed in the theatre for several days after his death in 2006.

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