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Top music, Hollywood and TV stars to appear at USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala


NEW YORK – Machine Gun Kelly, Teyana Taylor, Jacob Latimore, Annie Ilonzeh, Claudia Jordan and Towanda Braxton will add star power to USA Track & Field’s Black Tie & Sneakers Gala, slated for Thursday, November 2 at The Armory in Upper Manhattan.

Celebrities from across the entertainment industry will join current track & field stars, Hall of Famers, business executives and national tastemakers at USATF’s annual gala, which will be broadcast on the Olympic Channel.

Colson Baker, aka MACHINE GUN KELLY, is an award-winning rap artist and the face of the John Varvatos fall 2017 campaign, making his mark in the fashion world during New York Fashion Week. The rapper – who got his name due to his rapid-delivery style – topped the charts earlier this year with the song “Bad Things.” MGK’s collaboration with Camila Cabello hit #1 on Billboard's Pop Songs radio airplay chart and was nominated for a 2017 Billboard Award.

In addition to his sky rocketing music career, MGK has also been developing an impressive acting resume under his given name Colson Baker. Such credits include an upcoming sci-fi motion picture opposite Vera Farmiga, and a series regular role in the award-winning Director/Producer Cameron Crowe's Roadies on Showtime. Other credits include Punks Dead and The Land with Erykah Badu, in which he served as co-executive producer.

TEYANA TAYLOR is an acclaimed singer, songwriter, model and choreographer, most recently recognized for her dynamic runway walks during New York Fashion Week. As an actress, Taylor is one of the stars of the upcoming Netflix film, The After Party, featuring Blair Underwood, French Montana and Wiz Khalifa. She has also joined the cast of BET’s cheerleader drama, Hit The Floor.

The breakout artist is signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music/Def jam record label and won the 2017 MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography for Kanye West’s “Fade.”

She recently launched her much anticipated FADE 2 FIT online streaming fitness platform and will open a 90’s inspired nail salon in Harlem. In addition, Taylor is shooting a reality documentary for VH1 with her husband, NBA star Iman Shumpert, and their daughter, Junie.

One of Hollywood’s top up-and-coming young actors, JACOB LATIMORE portrayed “Time” in the 2016 Will Smith film, Collateral Beauty, and is most well-known for his role in 2014’s The Maze Runner. This summer he appeared in the period-crime film Detroit, the latest release from Academy Award-winning Director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker). The 21-year-old’s debut R&B/Soul album, Connection, was released last year.

ANNIE ILONZEH’s acting career has spanned film and television, from major motion pictures to prime-time network series and daytime dramas. Her film credits include her first leading role in the now-in-theaters ‘Til Death Do Us Part, as well as All Eyez on Me, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: Lightning Thief and He’s Just Not That Into You. On television, she portrayed Kate Prince on Charlie’s Angels, Harper Scott on Empire and Maya Ward on General Hospital.

CLAUDIA JORDAN is an actress, model and TV personality from reality television shows Ballers, The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Celebrity Apprentice, where she was a contestant in seasons 2 and 6. She is equally well known as a familiar face on some of the country’s most popular game shows, including The Price is Right and Deal or No Deal. Jordan currently has two upcoming films, The List and Jason’s Letter, as well as a talk show – The Raw Word – with Michael Eric Dyson debuting next spring.

TOWANDA BRAXTON has made a mark in music and television as part of the acclaimed Braxton family. Star of WE tv’s Braxton Family Values, Towanda was part of the Braxton’s recording group that included sisters Toni, Traci, Trina and Tamar, effectively launching the solo career of Toni Braxton. The mother, singer, actress, comedian and TV executive lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

The celebrity attendees join previously announced Olympic legend Carl Lewis, singer V. Bozeman and celebrity DJ D-Nice as headliners for the evening. The recently announced USATF National Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will be honored and inducted during the red carpet event.

About USATF Black Tie & Sneakers Gala

Now in its third year, USATF’s Black Tie & Sneakers Gala is a red-carpet evening held at the Armory Track & Field Center in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood. The Gala includes the induction of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2017, with legendary athletes, business executives, current USATF stars and celebrities from sports and entertainment on hand for an opening reception, dinner, the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and after party. Guests walk the red carpet in festive attire and sneakers, giving the night a USATF twist on athletic elegance and excellence.


Tickets on sale

Tickets for USATF’s Black Tie & Sneakers Gala are available now at For table sponsorship information, please contact



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