On Saturday, October 5 in Atlanta, Tyler Perry Studios welcomed guests to celebrate its grand opening. Actor/writer/producer/director Perry has now made history as the first African-American to own a film studio outright; he has no partners or corporate backers.
On the 330-acre lot, soundstage dedications were made to Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Sir Sidney Poitier, Halle Berry, Will Smith, Harry Belafonte, Cicely Tyson, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and to the late John Singleton, Diahann Carroll and Della Reese.
The celebrities were out in full force. Among the A-list guests were Winfrey and Stedman Graham, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, former President Bill Clinton and former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, Diddy, Cicely Tyson, Ava DuVernay, Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Viola Davis, Rep. John Lewis, the Rev. Bernice King, Stacey Abrams, Rep. Maxine Waters, Cicely Tyson, Tiffany Haddish, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai, Jeezy, Ludacris, Usher, Tyrese, 2 Chainz, T.I., Terrence Howard, Gladys Knight, Gayle King, Jenifer Lewis, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Patti LaBelle, Tina Knowles Lawson, Tamron Hall, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Storm Reid and BeBe Winans. Several hundred others also attended the gala.
Surprise performances were made by Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Ledisi and Morgan James.
It was a night few will ever forget.