The yearly event, formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, highlighted select students who have attended, aspire to attend or are currently enrolled in historically black colleges, and have benefitted from scholarships offered by the UNCF.
While Scott and Soulchild took the opportunity to showcase new music, Badu, decked out in massive gold chains, colorful tights and a wide brim hat, chose a selection off her 'Mama's Gun' album, released in 2001.
"This event is important to me because the UNCF is about education, and education is important to me," Soulchild told The BoomBox.
He went on to explain that the organization helps to provide people with the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. "There's always going to be something that you don't know. The concept of college is to help you gain hire learning," the R&B crooner said. "The difference between attempting to carry on your life without going through college is a world of difference. The benefits of it [college] are lifelong. What had to happen through the years, for us [African-Americans] to even have this [college] as a privilege to entertain... the least you can do is honor that. There are a lot of people that put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this organization so out of respect for the people that came before you, let their dream shine. The more educated you are, the more options you have."
Since the fundraising ceremony first aired in 1979, the UNCF has become one of the longest running annual televised events in U.S. history. Over the years, the Evening of Stars event has raised more than $200 million in funding, which has benefitted hundreds of thousands of college students.
The night also included performances from Estelle, Marsha Ambrosious, Miguel and two rousing songs from Patti LaBelle, the first of which was a duet with Ledisi.
Those interested in donating to the cause are encouraged to visit www.uncf.org. The entire Evening of Stars ceremony will air on BET Sunday, Sept. 25th at 10PM.