Dave Chappelle turned 46 years old on Saturday. Instead of throwing a birthday party for himself, however, the comedian put together a benefit block party in Dayton, Ohio to honor the victims of recent mass shootings in the city and around the US.
As previously reported, Kanye West opened the event, dubbed “Gem City Shine”, with a Sunday Service. Speaking during West’s performance, Chappelle addressed his reasons for putting the show together. “We’ve been through a tough time. There’s been tornados, there’s been Klan rallies, there’s been shootings — but we’re still here,” he said. “We’re still strong… The best way that we can honor our fallen is by getting up better than we were before.”
Ahead of a surprise lineup of megastar performers, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley joined Chappelle on stage to officially declare August 25th Dave Chappelle Day in the city. What followed was appearances from Chance the Rapper, Teyana Taylor, Thundercat, and a headlining set from Stevie Wonder. Jon Stewart even showed up to lead the crowd in a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for the day’s host. (Backstage, West’s Sunday Service choir also sang a special birthday song for Chappelle.)
Below, watch footage of Dave Chappelle’s “Gem City Shine” benefit in Dayton, including CNN’s interview with the comedian.
The weekend will roll into a big week for Chappelle, as his latest stand-up special, Sticks & Stones, premieres today on Netflix. He’s also set to receive the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center this October.
— King Bo$$ (@Imkingb0ss) August 26, 2019
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