Bowie State University to name theater after music legend Dionne Warwick

WTOP's Gigi Barnett speaks with Dionne Warwick on the honor of having Bowie State's theater named after her

Dionne Warwick’s chart-topping musical career spans six decades, and she has garnered a slew of Grammys and other awards in that time. Next month, she’ll be honored in a different way — Bowie State University will unveil its performing arts center theater honoring her legacy.

It will be the first performing arts venue named after the music legend.

“For them to name the actual performing arts theater after me,” Warwick said. “It’s quite overwhelming to be thought of as worthy of something of that nature.”

Bowie State University will name its performing arts center theater after singer Dionne Warwick during a ceremony in April. (Courtesy Bowie State University)

The Prince George’s County university reached out to Warwick to ask if she would use her influence, experience and big-name industry connections to help boost its music department.

Warwick accepted the university’s invitation.

“They asked me to become a part of the university and I agreed to be part of the music department and bringing shows to the university,” she said.

Warwick brings all of who she is to the task, including a special message for the university’s young performers who want the level of success and longevity she has earned.

“Don’t quit,” she said. “You have to stay in people’s faces. There will be a lot of ‘no’s’. That goes with the territory. But what follows no is a yes. Stay on the path.”

Students at Bowie State University sing on the stage of the university’s performing arts center theater, soon to be named after singer Dionne Warwick. (Courtesy Bowie State University)

At 82, Warwick takes her own advice. Her career is still going strong. She released a gospel song with country superstar Dolly Parton last month and is headed back into the studio soon with her favorite ’70s soul band Earth, Wind and Fire.

“We decided, ‘yeah, it’s time to do that,’” she said. “We’re finally going to get into the studio together, and that has been my dream.”

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