Apollo Benefit Is A Blowout At Billionaire Ronald Perelman's East Hampton Estate

by Annie Rooney · August 23, 2011

[Photo of Jon Bon Jovi, Bettye LaVette and Ben E. King via] It was a sold out show on East End for Saturday night's Apollo Theater Benefit and security was tight. Billionaire Ronald Perelman hosted the jam packed musical charity night at his 57-acre estate "The Creeks," overlooking the Georgica Pond. Performances by Ben E. King, Bettye Lavette, Jon Bon Jovi, Jamie Foxx and Alicia Keys provide the insane line up that entertained the crowd until well after midnight, benefiting Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Guests arrived at 8p.m. in their first class wheels with their pre-purchased $2,500 ticket.

The overall event catered to 220 guests and raised more than $1.5 million, topping last summer’s first Apollo Theater benefit. Some celebrities in attendance were Carey Lowell and Richard Gere, Jon Bon Jovi, Dick and Laura Parsons, Penny Marshall, George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth, Pete Peterson, Joan Ganz Cooney, Pharrell Williams, Matt Lauer, General Colin Powell, director Brett Ratner, executives Ron Meyer and Terry Semel and Ira and Inga Rennert and many more.

Alicia Keys performing [Photo via]

Guests indulged in delicious fried chicken and sliders whipped up by the Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson, inside the estate's barn theater. (The floor of Perelman's barn is painted by American Abstract mastermind Jackson Pollock). After dinner Perelman and his co-chair, Citigroup Chairman Dick Parsons invited Jimmy Buffett onstage to serenade Perelman's father with probably the loudest version of "Happy Birthday" Mr. Perelman has ever had, especially since it was for his 94th birthday.

Ron Perelman and Dick Parsons [Photo via]

From there the show took off as Ben E. King first took the stage. Bettye Lavette followed with "Let Me Down Easy" and Jon Bon Jovi joined the super soul-singer for a duet. The crowd really began to move as Jaime Foxx took the mic singing the pop-hit "Gold Digger" and Alicia Keys blew the crowd away with the appropriate tribute "Empire State of Mind." The grand finale featured all performers sharing the stage for a rendition of "Stand By Me."

Bettye Lavette and Jon Bon Jovi [Photo via]

Jon Bon JoviSurprise Performer Alicia Keys Jon Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys [Photo via]

Jamie Foxx [Photo via]

Ben E. King, Bettye LavetteGeorge Stephanopoulos, Ali Wentworth. Ben E. King and Bettye Lavette, George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth [Photos via]

Matt Lauer [Photo via]

Carey Lowell and Richard Gere [Photo via]

Jamie Foxx [Photo via]

Colin Powell [Photo via]