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A Night of Black Girl Magic: ZADA and Elle Varner shine at Kennedy Center Black Girls Rock! concert

A collage featuring two photos of Elle Varner at the Kennedy Center's Black Girls Rock! Fest Pop-up
Elle Varner at the Kennedy Center's Black Girls Rock! Fest Pop-up

The Club at Studio K was filled with Black Girl magic on Saturday night as up-and-coming artist ZADA and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Elle Varner took the stage for a Black Girls Rock! Fest pop-up. The showcase celebrates the cultural contributions of Black artists and creatives.

The Kennedy Center venue, which opened in early 2020, offered drinks at a bar in the back of the room, making the experience much more than an average night at the theater

The late-night event began around 9:30 p.m. as Ethiopia-born and Canada-raised ZADA took the stage, sharing songs from her debut album "Water in the Desert" released just a day prior. The 20-year-old’s blend of R&B and Afrobeats was refreshing and captivating.

By the time Elle Varner took the stage around 10:30 p.m., the venue was packed, mostly with Black women who were no doubt fans of the headling R&B singer. Varner started off with her 2014 hit single “Don’t Wanna Dance” before diving into songs from her 2012 album “Perfectly Imperfect.” The singer kept the crowd thoroughly entertained with tales of past break-ups and origin stories of some of her well-known songs.

Varner brought the crowd to their feet at the end of the intimate performance with her highly anticipated song “Refill,” which was nominated as Best R&B Song in the 2013 Grammys.

The Black Girls Rock Fest! Pop-up continues with two more events on Thursday, March 7, and Saturday, March 9. Find more information HERE.

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