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Percy Sledge Entertains Academy Fans As 'Doc of Rock'

Great music, a good vibe, and an enthusiastic crowd of Academy students filled Morgan Auditorium to witness rock legend Percy Sledge receive an honorary doctorate as part of our Doctors of Rock series. Academy president Elisa Stephens introduced Percy Sledge and highlighted his half-century career in music, from his childhood in rural Alabama through his debut of his signature hit When A Man Loves A Woman and his subsequent well-received albums and tours over the years. The standard bearer for Southern soul then received thunderous applause and a standing ovation as he accepted his honorary doctorate from President Elisa Stephens.

Percy Sledge struck a warm and immediate rapport with the audience in the Question and Answer session that followed. Academy students displayed great enthusiasm as they asked 'Dr. Sledge' about his career, his family, and his plans for the future. Percy Sledge displayed an openness and infectious warmth as he talked about his friendship with Otis Redding and confessed, to an amused crowd, his love for the Bee Gees.

Percy then treated the crowd to an exclusive concert, which included career favorites as well as select songs from his new album, "Shining Through the Rain". His all-star band included local legends and original Tower of Power horn players Mic Gillette and Skip Mesquite. The night closed out with a spine-tingling version of Percy's immortal hit, 'When a Man Loves a Woman'.

Academy students also got a valuable glimpse into the working world of television production as the event was being filmed live for TV. A crew of over fifty television professionals came together to put on the event, produced by Creanspeak Productions and Golden Hawk Entertainment in conjunction with the satellite channel HDNet. The show will air on HDNet later this spring, planned to coincide with Percy Sledge's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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