BIG ARTS: Darlene Love Performs

The Rock and Roll Legend Darlene Love

SANIBEL, FL (JANUARY 3, 2018) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Singer Darlene Love will bring her distinctive vocals and fabulous band to Sanibel Island for the 2018 BIG ARTS Annual Benefit “You Gotta Have Love.” Hers was the voice that helped launch a hundred hits and described by The New York Times as “embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton’s guitar and Bob Dylan’s lyrics.”

“This will be an evening long remembered,” said Benefit Co-Chair Melissa Congress. “Darlene Love is an inspiration to many and we graciously welcome her to our island and BIG ARTS.”

Love, a preacher’s daughter born in East Los Angeles, discovered her voice as a young girl standing next to an old Victrola belting out Marian Anderson songs. It was joining The Blossoms that led to her being discovered by Phil Spector, who was developing his signature 1960’s girl-group sound. Love would serve as backup vocals for several famed groups and singers from Cher to Aretha Franklin.

Throughout the years, there would more names linked with Love, including Elvis, Dionne Warwick and Nancy Sinatra. However, Love had an epiphany at the age of 40 and decided she was tired of her vocals being “used as an expensive accessory” to other artists. She disappeared from the music scene for nearly 10 years, and eventually fell on hard times. One day, while working as a maid in Beverly Hills, Love heard herself on the radio and vowed to make a comeback.

She has done it with appearances in all four Lethal Weapon movies, starring roles in Broadway hits like Hairspray and Grease, as well as headlining concert tours worldwide. Love’s determination to begin a solo career midlife has inspired a movie about her and “My Name is Love,” partly a dishy show-biz memoir, but mostly the story of a woman who never lost her will to sing.

Love was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom, a compelling 2013 film that shines a spotlight on the untold story of backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st Century. It has been slow to come, but Love is finally getting the recognition she deserves as one of the greatest performers and vocalists of our time, and was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

“Darlene Love has endured a rough road with grace and fortitude,” said Susan Heisler, event co-chair. “It’s truly an honor to have her headline the BIG ARTS Annual Benefit.”

Following Love’s performance in Schein Hall, there will be a drawing for four fabulous prizes: Take a private cruise aboard a 44-foot yacht for lunch at the Useppa Club; one-of-a-kind artwork by much-loved and gifted Sanibel artist Ikki Matsumoto; stunning jewelry from Congress Jewelers; and a gourmet experience at the Captiva House. Purchase 3 tickets for $100 – only 300 available – by calling 239-395-0900 during Box Office hours. Attendance is not required to participate in the prize drawing.

Sponsorship slots are available for “You Gotta Have Love” on Feb. 23 at BIG ARTS. Sponsor levels include Presenting ($10,000), Pacesetting ($5,000), Producing ($2,500) and Supporting ($1,500). All sponsors receive complimentary tickets, invitation to the sponsor and patron pre-show reception, prominent recognition, premier seating and more. Patrons ($275) receive an invitation to the pre-show party, preferred seating, name listed in the event program and an invitation to the private patron and sponsor appreciation dinner in March.

To become a sponsor or patron, contact Annie Campbell at 239-472-9700 or before the Jan. 15 deadline. Standard tickets go on sale Jan. 22 and can be purchased by calling 239-472-9700.

BIG ARTS, established in 1979, is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing quality artistic, cultural and educational experiences to Sanibel and Captiva residents and visitors.

Visit to learn more about our Spectacular 2018 Season! and to purchase tickets. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 239-395-0900. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook.