Artists Turning Out For King Memorial

Nekesa Mumbi Moody, AP, September 14, 2007

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds has won Grammys and worked with megastars like Eric Clapton, Madonna and Mariah Carey, but the singer-songwriter still remembers a time when he was blocked by racial barriers.

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A host of other performers have the same sentiment. Usher, Aretha Franklin, Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, John Legend and Ludacris are among those scheduled for Tuesday’s concert at Radio City Music Hall.

So far, about $82 million has been raised for the memorial on the National Mall, where monuments to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and the troops who died in the Vietnam War stand today. A sculptor has already been selected for the three-story King structure. Organizers are hoping the concert will help get them closer to their $100 million goal. Tickets for the event range from $150 to $1,000.

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The King memorial is expected to be erected by 2009, situated between the memorials for Presidents Lincoln and Jefferson.

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