NEW YORK CITY — A theater on Broadway where the musical “Six” has been playing was officially renamed Tuesday in honor of Lena Horne.
History was made in the Theater District when Horne became the first Black woman to have a theater named in her honor.
Horne, who died in 2010, was one of the few movie stars of color during the 1940s, but she got her start at the Cotton Club in Harlem when she was just 16 years old.
Horne’s varied career embraced movies, TV, nightclubs, and Broadway. She was also active in the Civil Rights movement for more than half a century.
She broke so many barriers during a long and productive life, and given the obstacles she faced, it’s fitting her signature song was titled, “Stormy Weather.”
Her talent and temperament were remembered Tuesday by those who knew her and those she inspired.
“She opened so many doors for us that we as people of color can thank her for being a beacon of light,” singer Vanessa Williams said.
More than 40 years have passed since “The Lady and Her Music” got a special Tony award.
A dozen years after her death, her legacy remains meaningful to those Horne inspired not only as an entertainer, but an activist.
“Yeah, a major Civil Rights activist and someone who just refused to accept what people were giving at that time in history and just decided to, you know, be a voice for the African American community, and so we admire that so much,” actor Norm Lewis said.
The new name came after a theater that opened back in 1926 was renovated.
“What we are saying is that The Great White Way must have some chocolate on it,” NYC Mayor Eric Adams said.
Horne was an honorary member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, which sponsored one of her last concert tours in 1980, and members of the historically Black sorority were urged to “come and represent” at Tuesday’s festivities.
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