Although she’s a legendary actress and singer, Sheryl Lee Ralph has always had a passion for service. Before setting her sights on Hollywood, she was pre-med in college so it comes as no surprise that she’s still helping and healing people in a big way.
Her foundation DIVAS Simply Singing!, the longest consecutive running musical AIDS benefit in the United States, will be hosting its 30th annual fundraiser for The D.I.V.A. Foundation as a virtual event and on Saturday, December 5th on KTLA.
MCed by Sheryl Lee Ralph, it is the culmination of DIVAS Health Awareness Week, a slate of programming that kicked off with a World AIDS Day Townhall on December 1.
In addition to streaming online, DIVAS Simply Singing! will broadcast live in Los Angeles on KTLA (Channel 5) from 7pm – 9pm PST and numerous other stations throughout the U.S. owned by Nexstar Media Group. Appearances and performances will be made by the legendary Patti LaBelle, Jonathan McReynolds, multi-Grammy Award winning singer Lalah Hathaway, actress/comedian/singer Jenifer Lewis, Grammy Winning R&B singer Anthony Hamilton, Emmy Award winning actress Loretta Devine, and many others to be announced.
“The impact that this pandemic has had on so many lives globally has been vast, and our new normal is now before us,” Ralph said in a press release. “After much deliberation, we decided to take our World AIDS Day commemoration virtual and expand our programming. We will continue to fight stigma, raise HIV/AIDS awareness and other critical health issues, every dollar raised through our efforts has gone to help men, women, and children fighting HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. The lights, the mic, and the DIVAS Simply Singing! is a show like no other.”
The foundation’s mission is rooted in Ralph’s deep concern for the lack of attention given to AIDS epidemic in the 80s, which she points out parallels the casual mishandling of COVID-19 crisis. Both have uncovered the huge health disparities that exist for people of color.