Ah, the Apollo'"Where stars are born and legends made." Since 1934, this world-famous Harlem theater has been searching for untapped talent with their weekly Amateur Night competition. Folks like Stevie Wonder, D'Angelo, Billie Holiday, Jaheim and the Isley Brothers all got their big break after winning the Wednesday night competition. But most performers aren't so lucky.
The Apollo's crowds are notoriously tough, known for loudly booing at bad performers until executioner Howard "Sandman" Simms (and his recent replacement C.P. Lacey) makes them leave the stage. Tomorrow night, the NYC institution will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the tradition with a special Amateur competition hosted by Uptown's current poster boy, Ron Browz. Chances are somebody will get booed, but it's not the end of the world. The Apollo crowd actually hated on these 5 acts before they became stars...
AGE: Probably In His Early 20s
WHAT WENT WRONG? With a golden blonde Sisqo 'do, a youngish Ne-Yo (it's hard to pin down exactly how old he was since he's been lying about his age for 10 years)'who was then known as "GoGo"'performed with his boyband Envy at the Apollo. Despite some groin-stretching dance moves, the group fought persistent boos throughout their lackluster performance. At least they finished the song, which is more than most can say.
AMATEUR: Lyfe Jennings
WHAT WENT WRONG? Fresh off a 10-year prison bid, this Ohio native took to the Apollo stage to get his big break. But before he could even open his mouth, the crowd started booing him based solely on the fact that he looked like a bum with an acoustic guitar. Still, he pressed on, and as soon as he started actually performing, the crowd warmed up and ended up giving him a standing ovation. Lyfe went on to win the next 5 weeks and sign a deal with Columbia Records.