NEW YORK (AP/WCBS 880) – Singers Dionne Warwick and Chuck Jackson will perform at next week’s birthday fundraiser for embattled Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel, his campaign announced Friday.
First lady of soul Aretha Franklin was originally scheduled to headline the event, which is set for Aug. 11 at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. But Franklin canceled her appearance after being sidelined with an injury.
Franklin’s cancellation is just one of a spate of problems that have plagued the fundraiser since a House ethics panel charged Rangel with 13 violations last month.
A number of high-profile New York Democrats have not confirmed they’ll attend the gathering even though their names are on the invitation. They include Sen. Chuck Schumer and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is running for governor.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent, is expected to attend the fundraiser, as is Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Rangel faces a public trial on charges related to improperly soliciting money for a college center to be named in his honor; accepting several rent stabilized apartments in New York; omitting information on his House financial disclosure forms; and failing to pay taxes on income from a rental property in the Dominican Republic.
Rangel, 80, has represented his Harlem congressional district for 40 years and is running for a 21st term. Several candidates are challenging him in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, including Adam Clayton Powell IV, the son of the legendary Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., whom Rangel ousted in 1970. Rangel’s trial is not expected to begin until after the primary.
Warwick recorded dozens of hits from the 1960s until the 1980s. She is best known for performing the songs of Burt Bacharach, including “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “Walk on By,” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.”
Jackson recorded another Bacharach hit, “Any Day Now,” as well as several other popular songs in the 1960s. His song “I Keep Forgetting” was a huge hit for singer Michael McDonald, who recorded it in 1982.
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