Photo Credit: David Crotty/Getty Images
Dionne Warwick’s new album may be titled She’s Back, but we all know the living legend never really left!
The New Jersey native hosted an intimate fundraising dinner to benefit her Dionne Warwick Institute of Economics and Entrepreneurship and celebrate the release of her 38th studio album and 2019 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement award. Held at the newly-opened Time Square Edition hotel — owned and inspired by Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager — approximately 50 people including record label executives, industry professionals, family, and friends.
Music producer and singer Damon “NomaD” Elliott, who’s worked with an innumerable number of top notch artists including Destiny’s Child, Bone Thungs-N-Harmony, Macy Gray, and of course, Dionne Warwick, moderated the event, and explained why and how he’s earned the right to affectionately call the music royal, Mom.
In true fashion, the night began with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on a Manhattan rooftop overlooking the city. Then, dinner opened with a tribute video from close friend and legendary producer Clive Davis, recognizing Ms. Warwick and her decades of talent that just keep on giving. While the night was all about the Jersey girl, it was also to honor Warwick and Davis’ contributions to the music industry and beyond. However, Davis was focused on paying homage to a woman that made history musically, culturally, and politically.
“When you have a dear friend — and I’m sure each of you here have experienced close years where your lives intertwined daily. And then, as life goes on, you each do different things, but when you get back together, not only do the memories, not only does the familiarity, the common bond take over that you really [shared],” Davis told the dimly-lit room.
“On this occasion of a lifetime achievement award, there are some things I want to share with you tonight — and with you [Dionne] — some things we’ve never even talked about.”
As the industry icon continued, he noted that Ms. Warwick’s lifetime achievement trumped any other out there.
“The idea of [a] lifetime achievement award — when you see certain people get it, you know they’ve had a number of hits. But for you, not only are they career-defining hits but you pioneered—“
Davis said he could say any song title and everyone would know what it was — such as “Walk on By,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Endless Love,” and “I’ll Never Love This Way Again.” Unsurprisingly, the audience picked up his reference to every song.
To close out the night, Ms. Warwick took the stage and graced the audience with a few minutes of her mellifluous vocals before thanking dinner attendees for their years of support. She also shared a personal message of appreciation with Davis, and showed the intimate venue that’s what friends are for.
So here’s to Mom and Uncle Clive. Love, Damon!
Dionne Warwick and Clive Davis That’s What Friends Are For Benefit Dinner