Stevie Wonder signed, sealed, and delivered a headlining performance at the block party and benefit concert hosted by Dave Chappelle on Sunday, to honor the victims of the recent mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.
The legendary musician sang some of his hits including “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” “I Wish,” and “Superstition” in front of a packed crowd. Wonder’s appearance may surprise some fans as he announced earlier this summer that he’d be taking a break from performing to undergo kidney transplant surgery.
Chance the Rapper, Talib Kweli, Teyana Taylor, and Thundercat also performed at the concert. Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and Michael Che were also seen at the event. Prior to the block party, Chappelle joined Kanye West for his famous Sunday Service in Dayton to support the victims and survivors of the shooting.
Dubbed the Gem City Shine, a reference to a nickname for Dayton, the free concert was restricted to the residents of the city and its surrounding areas, according to the event’s Facebook page. The gathering aimed to “reclaim” the community’s popular Oregon District, which was the site of the shooting on Aug. 4 that resulted in nine deaths and many injuries.
“The best way we can honor our fallen is by getting up better than we were before,” Chappelle told the crowd. “We won’t let those people die in vain.” He later added, “We’re not just doing this for our city, we’re doing this for every victim of every mass shooting in our country.”
Stewart also addressed the crowd, saying, “Dayton, Ohio, you have reclaimed this area.”
The event boasted performances, dining, drinks, and opportunities for people to donate to local organizations assisting businesses with recovery. More than 20,000 people were estimated to be in attendance.
Chappelle, who resides in nearby Yellow Springs, has hosted the likes of The Rock and Bradley Cooper for his Juke Joint concerts in the area. He also recently revealed that his fifth Netflix comedy special, Sticks & Stones, will be released Aug. 26.
Earlier this month, Khalid announced that he was headlining a benefit concert on Sept. 1 for the victims of the mass shooting in El Paso, which occurred Aug. 3., the day before the tragedy unfolded in Dayton. The singer, who moved to the city as a teen, said he wanted his community to “heal together through music while raising money to help those who need it.”