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Emmy Winner Sheryl Lee Ralph Has Always Been an HIV Ally

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[This article originally published in January of 2012.]A diva? Sheryl Lee Ralph acts the part, dresses the part, and talks the part.

Discussing her most recent Divas Simply Singing fund-raising spectacular a few days before the curtain rose on the October event in Los Angeles, Ralph spoke loudly and clearly — like she was on back on Broadway getting ready to belt out her hit song "One Night Only.""It's hard to see that here we are going into the 31st year of AIDS in January 2012 and people still don't want to know about a disease that is all around them," Ralph says. "That's why we continue to do Divas Simply Singing.

As long as people will come in and pay their money to see a diva strut with her big hair, wild wardrobe, outsize attitude, and the simple gift of song — if that's what it takes to get people's attention focused on HIV, that's what we have to do."Ralph originated the famed role of Deena Jones in Dreamgirls, and she's starred in several hit TV shows and films, including Moesha, Barbershop, and To Sleep With Anger.

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