The 2022 Beloved Benefit returned for their annual event in Atlanta on Thursday night and it included show stopping performances by Usher and Maroon 5.
The Beloved Benefit raises money yearly to aid in the advancement of Atlanta’s many communities. The organization is big on unity and bringing people together, and donates the money raised to nonprofit organizations throughout the city.
The night took place Downtown inside Mercedes Benz stadium with hundreds of local community leaders in attendance, all working together to help improve the city.
Guests wined and dined while listening to speeches by some of the city’s biggest playmakers, including the mayor of Atlanta Andre Dickens, Comedian Jeff Foxworthy and Chick-fil-A and Beloved Benefit exec Rodney Bullard.
Other notable attendees included Kandi Burruss, Donnell Jones, Ernie Johnson Jr., and legendary news anchor Monica Kaufman Pearson. NBC sportscaster Marie Taylor hosted the night and kept the guests entertained while bringing awareness to the important issues confronting the city like gentrification, poverty and crime.
“Only 4% of people who are born into poverty will ever make it out”, was an upsetting statistic repeated by many throughout the night. In 2019, The Beloved Benefit raised more than $5 million in funds for Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods.
Maroon 5 performed songs from their extensive catalogue, showering the crowd in nostalgia with “This Love”, hyping them up with songs like “Moves Like Jagger” and their #2 Billboard hit “Sugar”, then slowed it down with their 2018 collaboration with Cardi B, “Girls Like You”.
Between performances, heartfelt speeches and an emotional tribute to the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis who died in 2020, a QR code lit up the stadium, allowing guest a chance to donate to the cause right on their phones.
By the end of the night, $6.3 million was raised for 8 non-profit organizations fighting to strengthen the neighborhoods of Atlanta. Atlanta CareerRise, Center for Employment Opportunities, The Goodr Foundation, Goodwill of North Georgia Career Training Center, Latin American Association, Quest Community Development Organization, The Village Market and Westside Future Fund were all praised through night for their selfless efforts to positively impact the city.
Usher closed out the night donning a white oversized jacket and baggy Rick Owens pants, occupying every inch of the stage with his hypnotizing dance moves. “Caught Up”, “Nice & Slow” and “U Don’t Have to Call” are just a few of the lucky songs that made it on his setlist.
We asked the emcee to describe her favorite thing about her hometown, despite the drastic changes its experienced within the past few years.
“The most beautiful thing about the city is that I truly believe it is a melting pot of ideas and cultures, and it’s also aspirational. People can come to Atlanta and decide they want to be movie star and there’s opportunities to do that. People move and start a business and it’s possible. It’s not economically out of reach like it may be in other cities. And maybe for them, the aspiration is owning a home that’s a nice, 3-bedroom home and that’s possible in this city. It’s aspirational, it’s inspirational, but I also believe it brings people together from all walks of life with that southern culture that you can’t find in any other city,” Taylor said.
You can learn more about Beloved Benefit here.