Bruno Mars

/Ron Roberts

'Beloved' benefit raises more than $5 million for Atlanta inner city efforts

Steve Harvey, Bruno Mars entertain benefit sponsors & donors

March 22, 2019

Bruno Mars gave a rousing 45 minute performance inside Mercedes Benz Stadium Thursday night to cap off an inspiring night at the inaugural 'Beloved' Benefit, celebrating the many triumphs in inner city Atlanta. Steve Harvey emceed the evening, complete with his off-prompter barbs - at the crew running his teleprompter, of course. 

Billed as "an inspirational evening with lasting impact," the first 'Beloved' benefit shared stories of triumph and inspiration emanating from Atlanta's westside community. It included stories of those ensnared in rampant poverty and criminal activity rescued by organizations like Westside Works, which has trained and prepared more than 600 Atlanta inner city neighborhood residents for career employment since its inception. It is one of the many organizations benefiting from the 'Beloved' benefit, which announced having raised more than $5 million at last night's gala inside Mercedes Benz Stadium. 

Reverend Bernice King, daughter of the late Dr. Reverand Martin Luther King, also spoke before the crowd, as did Atlanta natives T.I., Cee Lo Green, as well as Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, along with Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal, Atlanta United midfielder Darlington Nagbe and former Atlanta Hawks great Dikembe Mutombo. Iconic civil rights hero and current 5th district congressman John Lewis even joined Harvey where they tried an impromptu version of Pharrell Williams' hit song "Happy." They wound just dancing a good bit. Still seemed to please the crowd.

The crowd later enjoyed performances from Emeli Sande' and local youth dance troupes. The crowd was eventually rewarded for their fundraising efforts with the mini-concert by Bruno Mars. 

To learn more about the Beloved Benefit, Atlanta's Westside community, it's history and revitalization efforts, click HERE. Donations are also accepted, simply by texting the word BELOVED to 27126. 

SEE: PHOTOS from Thursday's inaugural 'Beloved Benefit'