Jennifer Hudson dazzles at Detroit Auto Show Charity Preview Gala

The Detroit Auto Show Charity Preview Gala, one of the most anticipated events of the year, was held on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023 at Huntington Place in downtown Detroit. The gala, which raises funds for children’s charities in the region, featured a dazzling performance by Grammy and Oscar-winning singer Jennifer Hudson, who sang some of her hits and paid tribute to the late Aretha Franklin.

A night of glamour and generosity

The Charity Preview Gala, also known as the Auto Prom, is a tradition that dates back to 1976 and has raised more than $120 million for local children’s charities over the years. The gala attracts celebrities, politicians, business leaders and car enthusiasts who get to enjoy an exclusive preview of the latest vehicles and innovations on display at the Detroit Auto Show.

This year, the gala tickets cost $400 each or $700 for a pair, and the proceeds will benefit nine charities that provide services and support for children in need. Some of the beneficiaries include Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, Detroit PAL and The Children’s Center.

The gala also featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and other dignitaries who welcomed the guests and praised the auto industry for its resilience and contribution to the state’s economy.

Jennifer Hudson dazzles at Detroit Auto Show Charity Preview Gala

A star-studded performance by Jennifer Hudson

The highlight of the night was the performance by Jennifer Hudson, who took the stage at 7:45 p.m. and wowed the crowd with her powerful voice and charisma. Hudson, who recently portrayed Aretha Franklin in the biopic Respect, sang some of her own hits such as Spotlight, And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going and Dreamgirls. She also paid homage to the Queen of Soul by singing Respect, Think and Natural Woman.

Hudson thanked the audience for their support and generosity, and expressed her admiration for Franklin, who was a native of Detroit and a longtime supporter of the Charity Preview Gala. Hudson said she felt honored to be part of the event and to celebrate Franklin’s legacy.

The guests gave Hudson a standing ovation and cheered as she ended her performance with a rendition of Hallelujah.

A showcase of innovation and excitement

The Charity Preview Gala also offered the guests a chance to explore the exhibits and attractions at the Detroit Auto Show, which will open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 16 and will run through Sept. 24. The show features more than 500 vehicles from 35 automakers, including some of the most anticipated models and concepts of 2023 and beyond.

Some of the highlights include:

  • The 2023 Corvette E-Ray, a hybrid version of the iconic sports car that boasts 650 horsepower and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds.
  • The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, an electric crossover that features a sleek design, a 33-inch LED display and a range of 300 miles on a single charge.
  • The 2023 Grand Wagoneer, a luxury SUV that marks the return of the legendary nameplate after nearly three decades. The Grand Wagoneer offers a spacious interior, a panoramic sunroof and a host of advanced technology features.
  • The Ford Bronco Raptor, a high-performance variant of the popular off-road vehicle that features a turbocharged V6 engine, a 10-speed automatic transmission and a suspension system that can handle any terrain.

The show also features interactive experiences such as:

  • The Dinosaur Encounter, a new attraction that allows visitors to see life-size animatronic dinosaurs up close and learn about their history and evolution.
  • The Off-Road Vehicle Encounter, an adventure zone that lets visitors ride in various off-road vehicles such as Jeeps, Hummers and ATVs on a specially designed course.
  • The Comic Strip Adventure Booth, a fun photo booth that transforms visitors into comic book characters with different backgrounds and effects.
  • The 360 Video Booth, a futuristic booth that captures visitors in a 360-degree video that they can share on social media.

The Detroit Auto Show Charity Preview Gala was a night to remember for all who attended. It was not only an opportunity to enjoy some glamour and entertainment, but also to support a noble cause and celebrate the automotive industry that is vital to Detroit and Michigan.

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