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Brian McKnight to headline Langston University gala
Popular R&B artist Brian McKnight will headline the seventh annual Langston University President's Scholarship Gala next month.
“Our goal is to raise scholarship dollars while also providing top-level entertainment for attendees. … We are extremely pleased to present a singer of Brian McKnight's caliber,” Kent J. Smith Jr., university president, said in a news release. “He is known internationally as a star among stars, and we believe he will put on a great show for our annual gala.”
McKnight has recorded 14 albums, including seven that went platinum. He has been nominated for 16 Grammy nominations and earned honors including the Soul Train Music Award and an Image Award.
His opening act will be Langston alumnus and comedian “Jammin” Jay Lamont, who has appeared on Russell Simmons' “Def Comedy Jam.”
“In the past we've had musical guests perform maybe four or five songs in the middle of the event,” said James Dunavant, assistant vice president of institutional advancement and development. “But we have McKnight coming for a full 75-minute concert.”
Organizers hope McKnight will draw as many as 1,500 people. The dinner portion of the gala is sold out, but about 1,100 tickets remain for the concert.
The gala is the university's largest scholarship fundraiser, Dunavant said. It is held each year the night before homecoming.
During the gala, he said, the university will honor three people “who have affected Langston in a positive way.”
The honorees are Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese; James Mosely, former interim Langston president, and J.A. Reed Jr., pastor of Fairview Missionary Baptist Church.
General admission concert tickets are available for $65 and $75 at www.langston.edu.
The awards presentation and dinner begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, in the Grand Ballroom of the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens. The concert follows at 9 p.m.