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Singers audition for concert

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Donald Tabron performs 'Sweet Thing' as he auditions to be an opening act for Keith Sweat's upcoming performance at the Rocky Mount Event Center on Saturday at the Booker T. Theater.

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BY COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Sunday, October 21, 2018

A total of 14 acts performed Saturday on the stage of the Booker T. Theater in downtown Rocky Mount in the hopes of being the opening performers for next month’s concert that will feature R&B artist Keith Sweat at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

In the end, the two judges of the talent show auditions chose the vocals of Kimberly Britt, Micah Wiggins and Sirena Pitt along with the play of her Groove band to perform as opening acts at the upcoming concert.

Wiggins, 19, who sang Grammy-award winning singer John Legend’s “All of Me,” is a student at Appalachian State University in Boone.

He learned about the auditions from his parents, who read about it in the newspaper, and he made the four-hour trip to showcase his talent. Wiggins said this won’t be the first time he appears in front of a large audience, having performed before at Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theater. He also sings with an acapella club at Appalachian State University.

“It’s a big honor to be one of the people chosen, and this is a big opportunity that should be a lot of fun,” Wiggins said.

Marilyn Bryant-Tucker, who was one of the judges for the auditions, is the event planner for the Keith Sweat concert. Bryant-Tucker said the performers chosen showed great stage presence and she believes overall, all of the performers entertained the audience well.

“I was amazed and the talent was better than expected,” Bryant-Tucker said. “It really surprised me. I was just glad that some of this hidden treasure was able to be found in Eastern North Carolina.”

Bryant-Tucker also works as the marketing manager of Les Entertainment Group and Carolina Comedy Jam,which will be presenting the concert along with Keep Banging Entertainment. Les Long,  a comedian who is currently on the road, is the promoter and host of the Keith Sweat concert.

Long said the concert will allow the performers chosen to be the opening acts an opportunity to raise their profile as entertainers.

“They will get a chance to be apart of the biggest R&B show to ever come to Rocky Mount,” Long said by phone on Friday. “They can put on their bio, portfolio or if they have a website that they were able to share the stage with legends and superstars, which can build their resumes. It could allow these up-and-coming entertainers to ask for money for their performances as they move forward.”

The Keith Sweat and Friends concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Rocky Mount Event Center. In addition to Sweat, the concert will feature longtime R&B artist Dave Hollister and other entertainers.

“With the Event Center being a 4,000-plus seat facility, this is an opportunity for the Rocky Mount community and Nash and Edgecombe counties to be looked upon the same way like Raleigh, Durham and some of other cities and counties in North Carolina when it comes to a certain level of entertainment. ... If Rocky Mount wants more shows and wants more promoters to come to the Rocky Mount area and bring good live entertainment, then they need to come out and support my event.”

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