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Amateur Night at the Apollo: Go Backstage for Opening Night of the 81st Season

A rare peek behind the curtain at the place where James Brown, the Jackson 5, Lauryn Hill and more were once unknowns

Apollo

Rebecca Greenfield

Amateur Night at the Apollo, one of America's most beloved musical institutions, is world famous for being one of the first places untapped talent emerges before evolving into superstardom. It was there when you could breathe the word "amateur" around people like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Frankie Lymon, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, the Jackson 5, Lauryn Hill and more. Rolling Stone got a rare look behind the scenes on the opening night of their 81st season. 

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