Muhammad Ali's annual celebrity charity Fight Night is to return to Arizona this month.
Celebrity Fight Night XVII will be hosted by Grammy Award-winning superstar of country music Reba McEntire, who is returning for her sixth time as emcee. The black tie event will begin with cocktails and a silent auction with dinner, an exciting live auction and entertainment to follow. Billy Crystal will make a special introduction of Muhammad Ali and multi-platinum recording artist Matchbox Twenty will open the musical portion of the evening, followed by a performance from Grammy Award-winning vocalist Kelly Clarkson. Additional performers will include the Top 12 American Idol 2011 finalists, Bret Michaels, Jackie Evancho and Lee Greenwood, under the direction of David Foster – who is returning for his 12th consecutive year as the evening’s Musical Director.
This year, Muhammad Ali will honor Halle Berry, Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons, former NBA and NFL owner Red McCombs and No. 1 ranked LPGA Champion Cristie Kerr with the 2011 Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards. Kevin Costner & Modern West will perform at the official after-party immediately following the event.
The Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards are presented annually to acknowledge leaders in the sports, entertainment and business communities who best represent the qualities associated with the Champ and his fight to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. In recent years Donald Trump, Steve Nash, John Elway, Sharon Stone, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Magic Johnson, Tony Hawk, Billy Crystal, Michael J. Fox, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chevy Chase, Jack Nicklaus, Kevin Costner, Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, Barry Bonds, Emmitt Smith, Evander Holyfield, Chris Evert and Jerry Colangelo have received these awards. Additional award recipients have included Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Luis Gonzalez, Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, and Bob Emfield and Tony Margolis, Founders of Tommy Bahama. Each year dozens of celebrity guests attend the event that has raised nearly $65 million dollars in 16 years, with the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute as the primary beneficiary.
The event takes place at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa at 5350 E. Marriott Drive, Phoenix, Arizona at 6:30pm on Saturday, March 19.