Joan Osborne, Queen Latifah Set For V-Day Benefit

Folk singer/songwriter Phoebe Snow, alt-rock group Betty also will participate in event seeking to end violence against women.

Singer Joan Osborne and rapper/talk-show host Queen Latifah have been tapped to perform at Take Back the Garden, the 2001 V-Day benefit seeking to end violence against women.

Osborne will open the show, which is set for February 10 at New York's Madison Square Garden and will feature more than 70 celebrities reading selections from playwright Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" (see "Alanis Morissette's Vagina Monologues"). Queen Latifah is scheduled to close the evening with "U.N.I.T.Y.," a track off her 1993 album, Black Reign.

Latifah and Osborne will also participate in the "Vagina Monologues" readings, joining Ensler and the likes of such actresses and activists as Oprah Winfrey, Melissa Joan Hart, Calista Flockhart, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, Brooke Shields, Julianna Margulies and Edie Falco, among others.

Folk singer/songwriter Phoebe Snow and New York City alt-rock group Betty will also take to the Garden stage to perform at the benefit, which will raise funds for a variety of local, national and international groups ranging from Planned Parenthood to the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

According to a V-Day spokesperson, the organization raised more than $1 million last year through similar charity events and a portion of the ticket sales from the New York City production of "The Vagina Monologues," as well as a touring version of the show that is currently being staged at the Second City Theatre in Detroit.

Last March, singer Alanis Morissette joined the New York cast for a two-week stint in "The Vagina Monologues," a play based on Ensler's 1998 novel of the same name that explores the characters and stories of a diverse group of women.

For more information about the V-Day Fund and the organizations and initiatives it helps support, check out the nonprofit group's official Web site at www.vday.org.