Dave Chappelle, Stevie Wonder and Kanye West honor Dayton, Ohio, shooting victims

Dave Chappelle
Comedian Dave Chappelle hosted a concert in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday to honor the victims of the Aug. 4 mass shooting.
(Charles Sykes / Associated Press)

Thousands turned out Sunday to a benefit hosted by comedian Dave Chappelle that honored victims of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

The star-studded “Gem City Shine” took place in Dayton’s Oregon District, the historic neighborhood that was the scene of a 32-second rampage that killed nine people and left dozens injured Aug. 4.

Stevie Wonder headlined the event, which also featured Chance the Rapper and Talib Kweli, among other musicians, news outlets reported.

The event was designed to raise spirits as well as money for the victims and survivors of the shooting.


Musician Stevie Wonder, front left, and comedian Dave Chappelle appear on stage during the Gem City Shine event
Musician Stevie Wonder, front left, and comedian Dave Chappelle appear on stage during the Gem City Shine event in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday. Chappelle, who lives in nearby Yellow Springs, hosted the benefit concert.
(Marshall Gorby / Dayton Daily News via AP)

“Don’t forget what this place is about! Mankind learned how to fly in this city,” Chappelle told the crowd. “Don’t forget what this place is about. When the rest of the country was all slavery, everybody was free in Ohio.”

Chappelle, who lives in nearby Yellow Springs, was treated to a rendition of “Happy Birthday” by attendees, instigated by comedian Jon Stewart.

Earlier in the day, Kanye West hosted a Sunday service in a Dayton park. The service for victims featured choir singers and was also attended by Chappelle.


Sunday evening’s benefit contributed to helping the community heal, business owners said.

“It’s reclaiming Dayton. We don’t want anybody to be scared,” Abby Beach told the Dayton Daily News. “We want everyone to know it’s an exciting and fun-loving community.”

Mayor Nan Whaley says no taxpayer money was used for the benefit. The mayor and the chamber of commerce raised funds for security and Chappelle donated the stage and secured talent, she said.

“And the least we can do, Dave, is we have declared it Dave Chappelle day in Dayton, Ohio,” Whaley said on stage Sunday night.

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