Tyler Perry set Hollywood ablaze by celebrating the opening of his brand new 330-acre studio in Atlanta, Georgia. Actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry made history by being the first black person to own a major film studio. During his celebratory speech, Perry challenged his guests to dream bigger, while turning the former Army base into his personal production studios. The biggest names in entertainment were in awe at his grand opening gala on October 5th.
“I’m thankful of the blessing of it all. I’m taking it all in,” Perry told Bella host, Danita Chantel, on the red carpet. “I’m over the moon right now.” When asked how Perry finds solace, he answered, “I need quiet and my son.”
The highlight of the evening featured Perry’s tribute to trailblazing Black stars who inspired him. Tyler Perry Studios welcomed guests to celebrate on the 330-acre lot, where sound stage 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 the late John Singleton, Diahann Carroll, and Della Reese.
“To be a part of Tyler Perry’s, you know like what he’s been able to accomplish, I didn’t think I’d see in my life. I didn’t think I’d see a Black man own a studio that had all these individual studios in honor of all these Black people. I’m overwhelmed. It’s an amazing honor and to be with all the other honorees that also have studios, and I’m just so happy that I’m here to see this,” Halle Berry told Bella before being honored with soundstage No. 11.
The reveals of each soundstage and the stars they honored were accompanied by a fireworks display and applause from the A-list crowd. Perry also paid homage to the late Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Della Reese, John Singleton, and Diahann Carroll, who passed just before the ceremony on Friday.
Tiffany Haddish shared, “Tyler has done so much for my career. Not only did he inspire me to be my funny regular true self, he gave me the opportunity to be on a soap opera way back in the day. He’s always been encouraging. Sometimes, he gets on my case because I mess up, but that’s what real friends do. I love that man, respect that man, and, you know, he’s my mentor. So he teaches me a lot. He’s taught me a lot.”
Tina and Richard Lawson said, “This is one of the most dynamic red carpets you will ever see, even including the Academy Awards.” The guest list gave the event the feel of the Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys combined. Guests partied until the wee hours of Sunday morning. Black Hollywood royalty mixed and mingled with a guest list that included politicians such as former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Rep. Maxine Waters, Ambassador Andrew Young, Rep. John Lewis, President Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton; media figures such as CBS’s Gayle King, CNN’s Don Lemon, and Tamron Hall; and actors including Viola Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Debbie Allen, and Phylicia Rashad; directors David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay; and music artists including Maxwell, Usher, T.I., Diddy, and Jay-Z.
The evening started with a cocktail hour in the John Singleton soundstage followed by opening remarks from Perry and a performance by Jennifer Hudson. Outside the soundstages, Perry surprised more of his collaborators, including Denise Boutte and Lamman Rucker, revealing stars dedicated to them on his own Walk of Fame, similar to the one Perry received earlier in the week on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles.
A three-course, seated dinner was served inside the Oprah Winfrey soundstage, as Will Smith, the Clintons, and Beyoncé arrived. The evening ended with Mary J. Blige performing, while stars like Chris Tucker and Taraji P. Henson danced the night away.
LIVE YOUR MOST BELLA LIFE!
BELLA Magazine is a national subscription- and newsstand-based lifestyle publication offering a curated guide to fashion, beauty, health, philanthropy, arts and culture, cuisine, celebrities, and entertainment.
At BELLA, we spotlight the ideal that “Beauty is Defined by You!”
Don’t miss a beat! Subscribe + #follow @bellamag.co!