Photos by Tara Harp Photography
It was a night full of love, fun and praise for Gospel Music’s Sweetheart, Darlene McCoy. McCoy recently celebrated her 40th birthday and she did it in a way that truly fit her character. McCoy hosted a free concert and celebration and invited all of her listeners and the entire community to the event. The artist known for having a giving heart sent out an invitation on air during her radio show on Praise 102.5FM.
The event held at the Porter Sandford Performing Arts and Community Center was so well attended that the theatre was completely full. While McCoy made the party free to all donations for her Jenimac Foundation which helps young teenage girls, were accepted.
The full house crowd enjoyed a show that featured several guest including; Comedian and radio host Rickey Smiley, Comedian Veda Ha-Ha Hallelujah Howard, actress’ Kim Fields, songstress and BET Sunday Best Finalist Jessica Reedy, Earnest Pugh, Darwin Hobbs and guitarist and singer Leon Timbo.
The birthday girl took to the stage early and was the MC for the night. She was serenaded by Darwin Hobbs who sung Happy Birthday to McCoy with all the “Luther-Sounding” style that only Hobbs can deliver. Other notable performances were from Earnest Pugh who blessed the crowd with his hit “I Need Your Glory” and Jessica Reedy and Leon Timbo whose acoustic rendition of “Amazing Grace Shall Always Be My Song of Praise” was indeed heavenly. The group who really stole the show was Joe Willie and the Deuteronimaires who turned out the concert with their hit songs “Black Stockings White Shoes Shouldn’t Be Allowed in Church” and “Whisper a Prayer” truly show stopping tunes that were not to be missed.
McCoy was roasted in a video and also live and in person by her many colleagues and friends and she took the ribbing all in stride. Her family also shared funny memories of McCoy; one such story was from her brother who talked about how she moved to “Atlanta with only $1 in her pocket.” All who took the stage to speak about McCoy ended their comments with words of love. Her mother truly touched everyone when she spoke of how proud she was of her and all that she had accomplished.
The evening took a serious tone for a moment when McCoy focused on her Jenimac foundation and premiered a video that touched on the main subject for the foundation, helping young girls escape abuse. After the debut of the movie McCoy discussed the many events she plans to hold for the foundation on a quarterly basis one being a camp for the girls where they can share their thoughts, hopes and dreams all while being mentored. She plans to release details about that very soon.
The celebration was truly wonderful and one that I’m sure McCoy will never forget. Check out the slide show below for pictures by Tara Harp Photography
of the event.