The biggest stars of movies, music and television descended on Chicago’s United Centre yesterday to celebrate the epic ending of 25 years of the Oprah Winfrey show.
The “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular” show was taped at the United Centre as the penultimate show in her quarter-of-a-century reign over daytime talkshow television.
Producers promised a star-studded show, providing an endless list of A-listers who came to celebrate Winfrey’s charitable work over the years.
Although over 154,000 ticket requests for the big show were received by Harpo Productions, only 13,000 seats were available and distributed free to fans through a lottery.
Stars gracing the stage varied from Aretha Franklin singing “Amazing Grace,” Tom Hanks hosting the evening, Michael Jordan surprising the talk show host with a tribute, Tom Cruise, and Jerry Seinfeld giving a comedy routine. Madonna, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Patti LaBelle, Beyonce and Stevie Wonder all performed as well.
In addition to the big stars, hundreds of people who have been helped by Winfrey also joined in to thank her for her impact on their lives. About 300 Morehouse College scholarship students were in attendance; female American soldiers gave a taped message from Iraq and three female fans from countries around the world came on stage.
Even Winfrey’s longtime partner Stedman Graham had a few words her Winfrey: “It really does amaze me that I get to be around a woman who changes people’s lives every day and who also takes her own lunch to work. You know what really is amazing? You have done this, sweetheart, through all of the sacrifices you’ve made, humility you have and through God’s amazing grace.”
In response to the amazing outpouring of love to Oprah, she told the crowd: “Thank you for being a part of this great night, this celebration of what you have done for `The Oprah Winfrey Show.’ You have made it possible for us to stand for 25 years.”
The final show will air today – the content of which is still unknown.