RHYTHM & BEATS: Grammy-nominated balladeer Charlie Wilson and world-renown percussionist Sheila E.
R&B Legend Charlie Wilson and World-renown Percussionist Sheila E. will join the nation’s top African American entrepreneurs, executives and professionals at the landmark 20th anniversary edition of the Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge. Whatever the agenda—be it entertainment, lounging poolside, hitting the links or courts, or being pampered at the spa—the power networking, luxury and fun is the bottom line at this one-of-a-kind Labor Day Weekend, set for Aug. 29- Sept. 1, at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.—the site of the very first Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge.
The prestigious weekend continues to be the largest African American sporting event of its kind, with two decades of showcasing world-class entertainers (Raphael Saadiq, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Fantasia, Steve Harvey, Babyface, Earth Wind & Fire, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, Chrisette Michelle, Anthony Hamilton and Dave Chappelle are just a small sampling of the showstoppers who have performed at the Challenge) and attracting African American achievers from every arena, ranging from then-teen tennis sensations Venus and Serena Williams, to golf legends Charlie Sifford and Lee Elder. The yearly conclave draws hundreds of attendees, including some of the nation’s top corporate executives, professionals, tastemakers and entrepreneurs for fun in the sun, top-notch entertainment, and all-inclusive amenities in a relaxed and engaging environment. The most determined golf and tennis competitors will compete for the coveted Purple Jacket, awarded to the champions of the Challenge tournaments, as well as trophies by Tiffany.
Charlie Wilson, one of the most prolific and energetic live entertainers of his generation, is currently commanding center stage with the sparkling ballad “My Love Is All I Have,” which has already reached #1 on the Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary chart. No one slam-dunks a ballad like Wilson, the Grammy-nominated multi-talent behind the 15-week Billboard UAC chart-topper “You Are.” And that truth remains undisputed with “My Love Is All I Have” from Wilson’s fourth solo album Love, Charlie through P Music/RCA Records. The set — released on Jan. 29, Wilson’s birthday, debuted #1 on the Billboard R&B chart and #4 on the Top 200. His second single, “Turn Off The Lights” is now making its way to the top of the Urban AC chart.
Sheila Escovedo, best known to music fans as Sheila E., picked up the drumsticks and started making music at the precocious age of three and has since established herself as one of the most talented percussionist/drummers and performers in the world. She became a top session and touring musician before the age of 20, performing and/or recording with George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham, Con Funk Shun, Marvin Gaye (on his final world tour), Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Patti LaBelle, and Steve Nicks among others. In the 1980s, Sheila’s collaboration with the artist Prince helped to catapult her to her own pop superstardom. Her obvious talent and hits like “The Glamorous Life” and “Love Bizarre,” in conjunction with her pivotal work on other Prince-related projects, contributed to her international stardom.
Other entertainers and personalities slated to appear at the Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge include Multi-Talented Actor Anthony Anderson, Comedian Chris Spencer and Hip Hop Icon Doug E. Fresh, with still others to be announced. For more details visit: www.blackenterprise.com/GT. For the latest event updates, as well as other perks and prizes for registrants, check the #GTYear20 hash tag on Twitter and Facebook.
PGA National hosted the first two Challenge events in 1993 and 1994. Showcasing the results of its recent $100 million revitalization, PGA National’s myriad amenities include customized suites ideal for weddings, golf “buddy trips” and spa aficionados; a permanent, lakeside wedding venue with exquisite vistas; 33,000 square-foot health-and-racquet club; 40,000 square feet of self-contained conference space; striking zero-entry pool; chef-driven Ironwood Steak &Seafood restaurant; and chic iBAR in its glamorous lobby.
“To host some of the nation’s most influential entrepreneurs, executives and tastemakers, for an event featuring great competition on the links and courts during the day and world-class entertainment at night, only venues of the highest quality, with amazing amenities and outstanding hospitality will do,” says Black Enterprise CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. “Nearly 20 years ago, we ‘dropped the gauntlet’ to issue our very first Golf and Tennis Challenge at PGA National. The results of its recent revitalization are no less than jaw-dropping, and it’s an absolute pleasure to bring this one-of-a-kind event back to where it all began.”
The Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge is presented by American Express, BMW, Frito-Lay, FedEx, Gatorade, Quaker, and Tropicana. Platinum sponsors include Regions Private Wealth Management; corporate sponsors are Marriott, Under Armour, PepsiCo, Tourneau, United States Virgin Islands Development Authority, Palm Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Palm Beach Sports Commission and Twenty Grand Vodka and Cognac. Media sponsors include X102.3 WMBX Palm Beach Broadcasting and the South Florida Times. For Golf & Tennis Challenge registration and full schedule information visit www.blackenterprise.com/gt.