Apollo Theater. Photo © JF

Season opener to feature new slate of talented performers competing for $20,000 grand prize

On Wednesday, February 22, Amateur Night returns to The Apollo with a dynamic new group of artists who will battle it out over the course of 32 shows in front of the theater’s notoriously tough “Be Good or Be Gone!” audience. The quintessential talent competition will feature vocalists, rappers, dancers, instrumentalists, comedians, spoken-word artists, and other performers from around the globe—including the U.S., Canada, and Japan—competing for a $20,000 Grand Prize and the chance to join the ranks of legendary past performers like D’Angelo, Jimi Hendrix, and Jazmine Sullivan. Contestants between the ages of 5 and 17 will likewise compete for the title of “Child Star of Tomorrow” and a $5,000 prize.

Since its inception in 1934, The Apollo’s signature Amateur Night continues to gain global recognition for launching the careers of thousands of performers and attracting audiences from all over the world. Amateur Night has long been revered by artists as a transformative experience where up-and-coming talent feel the power of the legendary performers who have come before them, and where audience responses can help make or break a career. Legendary performers who launched their careers on The Apollo Amateur Night stage have included Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and H.E.R.

Tickets for the 89th Amateur Night anniversary are on sale now at www.ApolloTheater.org.


The Apollo’s season is made possible by leadership support from Coca-Cola, Citi, Sherman Fairchild Foundation, Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, The New York Community Trust, and The Mellon Foundation.

Amateur Night at The Apollo is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

Apollo Education Programs are made possible by generous support from BNY Mellon, Apollo EmpowHER, Steve and Connie Ballmer, ConEdison, The Walt Disney Company, William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, the Moore Charitable Foundation, The Neuberger Berman Foundation, The Pinkerton Foundation, Sony Global Justice Fund, and the Verizon Foundation.

Public support for The Apollo is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, with special support from New York City Council Members Julie Menin, Kristin Richardson Johnson, and Shaun Abreu.

About The Apollo

The legendary Apollo—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, The Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world. In 2023, The Apollo will open The Apollo’s Victoria Theaters, which will include two new theater spaces, and begin the renovation of its Historic Theater, marking the first ever expansion and renovation of The Apollo in its nearly 90-year history. Read more about the project here: www.apollotheater.org/renovation-restoration-and-transformation/.

With music at its core, The Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at The Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend The Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations. Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, The Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at The Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and The Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about The Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.