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Harlem's Apollo Theater

Source: Underwood Archives / Getty

On this day in 1934, the world-famous Apollo Theater opened in its current home on West 125th Street in Harlem as the go-to venue for Black performers to make a name for themselves. In its 89 years, this has been the place “where dreams were born and legends were made.” From The Temptations and The Pips to DMX and Drake, the Apollo had its share of memorable moments.

Check out this photo gallery to get a small glimpse of the many icons that have set foot inside the legendary venue’s doors over the years!

 

Photos From The Apollo Theater That Scream “Black Excellence”  was originally published on foxync.com

1. The Delfonics In NY

The Delfonics In NY Source:Getty

NEW YORK – OCTOBER 15: William Hart (wearing hat), Wilbert Hart (dark jacket, no hat) and Randy Cain (light jacket with crucifix necklace) sign an autograph for a fan on their album “Lala Means I Love You” as they pose for a portrait session on 126th St. behind the Apollo Theatre on October 15, 1968 in New York, New York. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,looking at camera,waist up,portrait,event,black and white,archival,apollo theater – new york,autographing,1960-1969,fan – enthusiast,signing,photo shoot,formal portrait

2. Gladys Knight And The Pips At the Apollo

Gladys Knight And The Pips At the Apollo Source:Getty

NEW YORK – CIRCA 1964: R&B group Gladys Knight and the Pips pose backstage at the Apollo Theatre circa 1964 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Don Paulson/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,topix,new york city,looking at camera,waist up,portrait,music,females,archival,apollo theater – new york,backstage,1960-1969,r&b,gladys knight,edward patten,william guest,merald knight,gladys knight and the pips

3. The Temptations

The Temptations Source:Getty

Members of American vocal group The Temptations perform at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, circa 1965. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,people,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,adult,adults only,new york city,music,concert,performance,singer,only men,four people,black and white,archival,apollo theater – new york,human interest,singing,1960-1969,the temptations

4. The Temptations

The Temptations Source:Getty

Members of American vocal group The Temptations backstage at the Apollo Theatre in New York City, circa 1965. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,people,formalwear,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,adult,adults only,new york city,music,singer,only men,four people,black and white,archival,apollo theater – new york,human interest,backstage,jacket,1960-1969,the temptations

5. Wilson Pickett

Wilson Pickett Source:Getty

American singer Wilson Pickett (1941 – 2006) appears on stage at the Apollo Theater, New York City, 8th September 1966. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,musician,adult,topix,bestof,new york city,music,concert,singer,men,black and white,archival,apollo theater – new york,human interest,appearance,stage – performance space,1966,wilson pickett

6. Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson Source:Getty

American singer and songwriter Smokey Robinson (in striped robe) rehearses the song ‘My Girl’ with the Temptations in their dressing room at the Apollo Theater, New York City, in 1964. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,people,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,adult,adults only,topix,bestof,new york city,music,singer,only men,three people,black and white,archival,apollo theater – new york,human interest,songwriter,rehearsal,smokey robinson,temptation,1964

7. Patti Labelle And The Bluebelles

Patti Labelle And The Bluebelles Source:Getty

American vocal group Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles perform at the Apollo Theater in New York City, circa 1965. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,celebrities,people,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,adult,adults only,topix,bestof,new york city,music,concert,performance,singer,only women,four people,black and white,archival,performance group,apollo theater – new york,human interest,patti labelle,singing,1960-1969,stage – performance space

8. B.B. And Rufus

B.B. And Rufus Source:Getty

American R&B singer Rufus Thomas (1917 – 2001, left) with blues singer and guitarist B.B. King (1925 – 2015) backstage at the Apollo Theater in New York City, 1964. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,people,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,musician,adult,adults only,topix,bestof,new york city,music,singer,only men,two people,black and white,archival,apollo theater – new york,human interest,blues music,b.b. king,guitarist,1964,rufus thomas

9. Mary Wells

Mary Wells Source:Getty

American singer Mary Wells (1943 – 1992) backstage at the Apollo Theater in New York City, circa 1964. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) vertical,photography,people,one person,arts culture and entertainment,adult,one woman only,adults only,new york city,music,singer,black and white,archival,apollo theater – new york,human interest,1960-1969,mary wells – singer

10. Isaac Hayes Concert

Isaac Hayes Concert Source:Getty

American soul singer Isaac Hayes performs at the Apollo Theater on West 125th Street, New York City, 26th June 1970. (Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,people,one person,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,adult,adults only,topix,bestof,new york city,music,concert,performance,singer,one man only,black and white,archival,apollo theater – new york,human interest,soul music,1970,cape – garment

11. Sinbad Hosts A Show At The Apollo Theater

Sinbad Hosts A Show At The Apollo Theater Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–SEPTEMBER 24: Comedian Sinbad (aka David Adkins) hosts a show at the Apollo Theater on September 24, 1989 in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives) photography,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,1980-1989,black and white,archival,apollo theater – new york,residential district,harlem,sinbad – comedian

12. Ron Galella Archive – File Photos

Ron Galella Archive - File Photos Source:Getty

Musician Stevie Wonder attending 50th Anniversary Tribute of the Harlem Club on May 6, 1985 at the Apollo Theater in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images) vertical,arts culture and entertainment,attending,musician,usa,new york city,apollo theater – new york,stevie wonder

13. Apollo Theater 50th Anniversary

Apollo Theater 50th Anniversary Source:Getty

Berry Gordy and Diana Ross (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images) vertical,arts culture and entertainment,usa,new york city,diana ross,1980-1989,archival,berry gordy jr.

14. Apollo Theater 50th Anniversary Party

Apollo Theater 50th Anniversary Party Source:Getty

NEW YORK CITY – MAY 4: Gregory Hines attends Apollo Theater 50th Anniversary Party on May 4, 1985 at the Apollo Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images) vertical,photography,celebrities,arts culture and entertainment,attending,party – social event,usa,new york city,anniversary,1980-1989,dancer,archival,apollo theater – new york,50th anniversary,gregory hines

15. Apollo Theater 50th Anniversary Party

Apollo Theater 50th Anniversary Party Source:Getty

NEW YORK CITY – MAY 4: Patti LaBelle attends Apollo Theater 50th Anniversary Party on May 4, 1985 at the Apollo Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images) vertical,photography,celebrities,arts culture and entertainment,attending,party – social event,usa,new york city,anniversary,1980-1989,archival,apollo theater – new york,patti labelle,50th anniversary

16. Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan Source:Getty

Chaka Khan performing at The Apollo Theater, Harlem, NYC 7 June 1992. (Photo by David Corio/Redferns) color image,photography,people,one person,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,music,performance,1990-1999,three quarter length,apollo theater – new york,chaka khan,performing arts event

17. Naughty By Nature And Black Sheep Perform In Concert

Naughty By Nature And Black Sheep Perform In Concert Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–FEBRUARY 22: Rapper Treach (aka Anthony Criss) of the Hip-Hop group Naughty By Nature performs in concert with Black Sheep ( Dres aka Andres Vargas Titus; Mista Lawnge aka William McLean) at The Apollo Theater on February 22, 1992 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,concert,performance,1990-1999,black and white,apollo theater – new york,treach

18. Ice Cube Performs At The Apollo Theater

Ice Cube Performs At The Apollo Theater Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–FEBRUARY 22: Rapper Ice Cube (aka O’Shea Jackson Sr.) performs in concert in a New York Yankees Baseball Jersey at The Apollo Theater on February 22, 1992 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) vertical,photography,celebrities,arts culture and entertainment,usa,new york city,ice cube – entertainer,rapper,concert,performance,1990-1999,black and white,apollo theater – new york,new york yankees,baseball uniform

19. Public Enemy At The Apollo

Public Enemy At The Apollo Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–JULY 05: Chuck D (aka Carlton Ridenhour), Flavor Flav (aka William Drayton) and Rap group Public Enemy performs by an American Flag at The Apollo Theater on July 5, 1992 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,performance,1990-1999,black and white,rap,apollo theater – new york,american flag,flavor flav,public enemy,chuck d

20. Al B. Sure! Performs At The Apollo Theater

Al B. Sure! Performs At The Apollo Theater Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–MAY 10: Al B. Sure! performs at The Apollo Theater on May 10, 1993 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) vertical,color image,photography,arts culture and entertainment,usa,new york city,performance,1990-1999,apollo theater – new york,al b. sure!

21. Doug E. Fresh Performs At The Apollo Theater

Doug E. Fresh Performs At The Apollo Theater Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–APRIL 10: Rapper Doug E. Fresh (aka Douglas Davis) performs at The Apollo Theater on April 10, 1996 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) photography,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,performance,1990-1999,black and white,apollo theater – new york,doug e. fresh

22. James Brown at the Apollo Theater

James Brown at the Apollo Theater Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 1: American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer, and bandleader James Brown (1933-2006) sings on stage during a concert on September 1, 1995 at the Apollo Theater in New York, New York. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images) microphone,photography,people,one person,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,musician,usa,new york city,waist up,music,concert,singer,1990-1999,dancer,black and white,apollo theater – new york,songwriter,singing,producer,musical conductor,stage – performance space

23. Aaliyah In Performance

Aaliyah In Performance Source:Getty

R & B singer Aaliyah performs at the Apollo Theater, on November 4 1995, New York New York. (Photo by David Corio/Getty Images) photography,people,one person,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,waist up,music,performance,singer,1990-1999,black and white,apollo theater – new york,r&b,aaliyah – singer,new york new york hotel – las vegas

24. Yo-Yo Portrait Shoot

Yo-Yo Portrait Shoot Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–JUNE 19:Rapper Yo-Yo (aka Yolanda Whitaker) appears in front of the Apollo Theater in a portrait taken on June 19, 1992 in the Harlem neighborhood in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives) vertical,photography,arts culture and entertainment,usa,new york city,portrait,rapper,1990-1999,black and white,apollo theater – new york,residential district,appearance,harlem,photo shoot,yo-yo – rapper

25. Rapmania: The Roots Of Rap Concert At The Apollo Theater

Rapmania: The Roots Of Rap Concert At The Apollo Theater Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–MARCH 09: Jam Master Jay (aka Jason Mizell), DMC (aka Darryl McDaniels) and Run (aka Joseph Simmons) of Run-DMC relax before they perform at “Rapmania: The Roots Of Rap” concert extravaganza at The Apollo Theater on March 9, 1990 in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives) photography,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,music,concert,performance,relaxation,1990-1999,black and white,run-dmc,apollo theater – new york,residential district,darryl mcdaniels,harlem,reverend run,jam master jay

26. Kurtis Blow Performs At The Apollo Theater

Kurtis Blow Performs At The Apollo Theater Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–JANUARY 10: Rapper Kurtis Blow performs at the Apollo Theater in New York on January 10, 1994. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives) vertical,photography,arts culture and entertainment,usa,new york city,rapper,performance,1990-1999,black and white,apollo theater – new york,kurtis blow

27. Andre Harrell Portraits

Andre Harrell Portraits Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–JANUARY 10: Andre Harrell appears in a portrait taken backstage at The Apollo Theater on January 10, 1994 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives) vertical,color image,photography,arts culture and entertainment,usa,new york city,portrait,1990-1999,apollo theater – new york,backstage,appearance,andre harrell

28. Big Daddy Kane On Stage At The Apollo

Big Daddy Kane On Stage At The Apollo Source:Getty

American rapper Big Daddy Kane (born Antonio Hardy) performs onstage at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, New York, New York, February 1990. (Photo by Rita Barros/Getty Images) microphone,color image,photography,people,one person,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,musician,usa,new york city,music,rapper,performance,males,african ethnicity,north america,1990-1999,rap,three quarter length,incidental people,apollo theater – new york,human interest,audio equipment,performing arts event,big daddy kane,harlem,black culture,hip hop music

29. DIANA ROSS & TEDDY PENDERGRASS

DIANA ROSS & TEDDY PENDERGRASS Source:Getty

US singers Diana Ross (L) and Teddy Pendergrass pose outside the Apollo Theatre on June 16, 1993. – They were among both legendary and new performers to perform at the concert to benefit the Apollo, the Hralem theatre that has given many black entertainers their start in show business. (Photo by Maria R. BASTONE / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARIA R. BASTONE/AFP via Getty Images) photography,celebrities,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,adult,new york city,portrait,concert,performance,smiling,singer,diana ross,business,women,new,1990-1999,charity benefit,apollo theater – new york,famous place,new york state,performer,entertainment occupation,benefit concert,business finance and industry,teddy pendergrass – musician

30. Snoop Doggy Dogg Preening in Front of Mirror

Snoop Doggy Dogg Preening in Front of Mirror Source:Getty

(Original Caption) New York City, New York: New York One all news TV station – Television interview with Snoop Doggy Dogg, Apollo Theater. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images) indoors,photography,celebrities,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,new york city,music,station,1990-1999,archival,apollo theater – new york,snoop dogg,interview – event

31. Photo of DE LA SOUL

Photo of DE LA SOUL Source:Getty

UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 01: Photo of DE LA SOUL; De La Soul outside The Apollo Theatre, Harlem 125th St (Photo by David Corio/Redferns) arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,music,1990-1999,apollo theater – new york,soul music,harlem,de la soul

32. Martha Wash Performs At “Divas At The Apollo”

Martha Wash Performs At "Divas At The Apollo" Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–APRIL 16: Vocalist Martha Wash performs as part of the “Divas At The Apollo” show on April 16, 1992 at the Apollo Theater in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives) color image,photography,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,performance,singer,1990-1999,apollo theater – new york,residential district,harlem,martha wash

33. DMX Featuring N.O.R.E., Jim Jones, Jadakiss & Friends With DJ Scram Jones In Concert – New York, New York

DMX Featuring N.O.R.E., Jim Jones, Jadakiss & Friends With DJ Scram Jones In Concert - New York, New York Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 05: Rapper DMX performs live on stage at the Apollo Theater on August 5, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images) photography,people,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,music,concert,performance,large group of people,apollo theater – new york,dmx,stage – performance space,2016

34. DMX Featuring N.O.R.E., Jim Jones, Jadakiss & Friends With DJ Scram Jones In Concert – New York, New York

DMX Featuring N.O.R.E., Jim Jones, Jadakiss & Friends With DJ Scram Jones In Concert - New York, New York Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 05: Rappers Jadakiss (R) and N.O.R.E., formerly Noreaga, perform live on stage at the Apollo Theater on August 5, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images) photography,people,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,music,rapper,concert,performance,males,two people,three quarter length,apollo theater – new york,jadakiss,stage – performance space,2016,n.o.r.e.

35. DMX Featuring N.O.R.E., Jim Jones, Jadakiss & Friends With DJ Scram Jones In Concert – New York, New York

DMX Featuring N.O.R.E., Jim Jones, Jadakiss & Friends With DJ Scram Jones In Concert - New York, New York Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 05: Rapper Jim Jones performs live on stage at the Apollo Theater on August 5, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images) photography,people,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,new york city,music,concert,performance,two people,three quarter length,apollo theater – new york,jim jones – rapper,stage – performance space,2016

36. The Gathering For Justice Honors Harry Belafonte And The Central Park Five

The Gathering For Justice Honors Harry Belafonte And The Central Park Five Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 09: (L-R) Honoree Harry Belafonte and Khary Lazarre-White attend The Gathering For Justice 2015 Justice Ball at The Apollo Theater on November 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage) photography,celebrities,people,arts culture and entertainment,attending,horizontal,usa,new york city,headshot,two people,apollo theater – new york,harry belafonte,2015

37. Mase Proclamation Ceremony

Mase Proclamation Ceremony Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 24: Mase attends his Proclamation Ceremony at The Apollo Theater on January 24, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage) color image,photography,people,one person,arts culture and entertainment,attending,horizontal,usa,new york city,looking at camera,sunglasses,three quarter length,incidental people,apollo theater – new york,ceremony,mase,proclamation

38. Drake Live From The Apollo Theater For SiriusXM And Sound 42

Drake Live From The Apollo Theater For SiriusXM And Sound 42 Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 21: Drake performs on stage at The Apollo Theater on January 21, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for SiriusXM) photography,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,topix,new york city,performance,apollo theater – new york,bestpix,stage – performance space

39. Drake Live From The Apollo Theater For SiriusXM And Sound 42

Drake Live From The Apollo Theater For SiriusXM And Sound 42 Source:Getty

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 21: Drake and 21 Savage performs on stage at The Apollo Theater on January 21, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for SiriusXM) photography,people,arts culture and entertainment,horizontal,usa,topix,new york city,performance,large group of people,apollo theater – new york,stage – performance space,21 savage