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Anderson .Paak Welcomes Smokey Robinson, Isley Brothers At .Paak House Benefit

Proceeds benefit .Paak's non-profit, which provides access to the arts for underserved communities
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Anderson .Paak performs on stage at Alexandra Palace on March 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

It was an evening of R&B and soul grooves at the Häagen-Dazs-sponsored .Paak House benefit concert last night (May 12) in Ventura,  Ca., as host Anderson .Paak welcomed surprise guests Smokey Robinson, the Isley Brothers, and Mario to join him at his semi-annual fundraising benefit near his Oxnard hometown. The lineup was not released in advance, resulting in a host of noteworthy moments.

Robinson performed his classic “My Girl,” while the Isleys, still led after 50 years by the sibling duo of Ronald and Ernie, delivered “Between the Sheets” and “Footsteps in the Dark.” For his own set, .Paak performed solo favorites such as “Come Down,” “Tints,” “Put Me Through,” and “Am I Wrong” with his band the Free Nationals.

Beyond an appearance by the creatures from beloved kids TV show Yo Gabba Gabba, .Paak House also featured a stage for rising artists presented by Hue Unlimited, including Alex Isley (the daughter of Ernie Isley), Kenyon Dixon, Zyah Belle, Ta Thomas, Paul Grant, Peter $un, Inzom, Audrey Lisette, and Big E. Attendees were further treated to free Häagen-Dazs Butter Cookie Cones and samples of Harry Styles’ Pleasing Nail Polish.

Proceeds from .Paak House benefit the Brandon Anderson Foundation, which provides access to the arts, supplemental education, and unique experiences for underserved communities. .Paak told SPIN earlier this week that Häagen-Dazs’ $500,000 donation was helping him stage the biggest edition of .Paak House to date.

.Paak also disclosed to SPIN that he’s finishing the second album from NxWorries, his collaboration with producer Knxwledge, and is also working on material for his first proper solo album since 2019’s Ventura. NxWorries will tour this summer for the first time in many years, including two big shows as part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Napa, Ca.