Avery Sunshine is an American soul, R&B, and gospel singer whose #1 hit single “Call My Name” from her album The Sunroom was awarded ASCAP’s “Rhythm and Soul Song of the Year 2016” award. Avery has opened for Babyface at Madison Square Garden, performed for Smokey Robinson at his Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame tribute, and sung with Aretha Franklin. Avery was also nominated for a Soul Train award and a BET Centric Award.

“Say It Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud” - What inspires you about James Brown’s anthem?

James Brown’s “Say it Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud” was released only 3 years after blacks were afforded the right to vote. This song was and still is, a bold, unapologetic and necessary statement that gave/gives blacks permission to claim and proclaim who we were/are. That’s inspiring.

What is Black Pride Music - to you?

Black pride Music, to me, is music that is intended to celebrate our contributions and existence here in this country. It is also an attempt to challenge much of what we have learned from others about ourselves and undo many of those wrong perceptions.

In what ways do you “Say It Loud” with your artistry?

I “Say it Loud” by being authentically and fearlessly who I AM and by teaching my children to do the same.

What makes the connections between music and social change so powerful?

There is an undeniable connection between music and movements of change. As I write this, I think of my ancestors, who, not so long ago, sang in cotton fields and alerted the other slaves that is was almost time to go... “keep your lamps trimmed and burning, the time is drawing nigh.” There may be a simple scientific explanation for this connection. While I don’t know what that is, I know that if and when I have something to say, I’m gonna sing it. LOUDLY.

Why is it significant to present a celebration of Black Pride Music at the Apollo Theater?

For me, the Apollo theater is synonymous with Black American-music. There are black artists that were MADE on that stage. The Apollo has seen, not just years, but generations of black performers.

What are you looking forward to most at Say It Loud on 10/20?

Firstly, I’m looking forward to finally working with our bandleader, and my dear friend of THIRTY years, Christian McBride!!!! Secondly, I can’t wait to meet and hear Lisa Fischer! Lastly, but not leastly, I’m looking forward to performing on the stage where many of my muses performed: James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Little Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Roberta Flack and Marvin Gaye. I am HONORED.

Say It Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud at 50 premiers next Saturday, October 20 at 8PM.

Get your tickets HERE!

Thanks to our partnership with Coca-Cola, Harlem residents can save 50% ($25, $37.50, and $50) on tickets to this Black Pride Music concert. Half off for Harlem tickets can be purchased in person at the Apollo Theater Box Office. Ticket buyers must provide proof of residence to save.