Tyler Perry Makes History (and Big Bucks)

Life’s definitely not a drag for Tyler Perry these days.

The director/actor/writer/producer of Madea film-series fame became the first African-American to open his own major TV and film studio on Saturday night, People magazine reports.

The facility, located at the former Delta airlines headquarters in Atlanta, was launched with a gala event attended by Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson and baseball legend Hank Aaron, among many other luminaries.

The evening was marked by musical performances by Mary J. Blige, Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight as well.

In a testimonial to the Why Did I Get Married? actor/writer—who grew up amid troubled circumstances in New Orleans—Smith noted, “He is not letting anyone get in his way…Those are the wonderfully naïve, arrogant, humble, powerfully American concepts that make things powerful in this country. It’s big.”