We’re gonna have a party.
Lionel Richie once sang that in his hit “All Night Long,” and it applies to the 23rd annual Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala set for March 16 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Power of Love gala, which benefits the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, will this year honor Richie, who turns 70 on June 19.
Committed to this year’s event are hip-hop, R&B star and “World of Dance” judge Ne-Yo, fellow Grammy Award-winning artist Miguel, jazz-guitar great and ex-New York Yankee legend Bernie Williams, singer-songwriter-actress Leona Lewis and keyboard great Greg Phillinganes.
“Empire” co-star Jussie Smollett, who is also a singer-songwriter, remains on the official list, despite allegations that he might have orchestrated a racially motivated attack late last month in Chicago. Power of Love organizers are tracking this fluid, and also odd, turn of events.
Richie most recently headlined at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood from 2016-2018 and has performed intermittently in Las Vegas since the late-1970s as a member of the Commodores. He’s the latest in the long line of entertainment luminaries to appear at the event.
Over the years, Power of Love has drawn such superstars as Tony Bennett, Andrea Bocelli with Celine Dion, Bono, Michael Bublé, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Cee Lo Green, Enrique Iglesias, Jon Bon Jovi, LL Cool J, Lenny Kravitz, Barry Manilow and Stevie Wonder.
The show welcomes culinary icons, too: Wolfgang Puck of Spago and Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, the NoMad Hotel in New York and Los Angeles and the recently opened Las Vegas resort at the Park MGM.
The event raises funds for the Ruvo Center’s ongoing fight against neurocognitive diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, multiple-system atrophy, frontotemporal dementia and related disorders and multiple sclerosis.
“Brain disease does not belong to the patients alone, but their entire families. A caregiver’s job is 24/7, 365 days a year,” Keep Memory Alive vice-chairwoman and co-founder Camille Ruvo said in a statement. “We are honored to welcome these incredible artists to the lineup for this year’s Power of Love gala, which allows us to fund the remarkable work being done at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.”
Lou Ruvo, the inspiration of the clinic, died of Alzheimer’s 25 years ago Monday.
The event is again presenting its Keep Memory Alive Caregiver Hero Award, honoring Lonnie Ali, widow and caregiver of the late Muhammad Ali. The award pays tribute to those who have gone above and beyond to care for those who are unable to care for themselves. Ali was honored at the 2011 event celebrating his 70th birthday.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.