In Philadelphia, Deloris and her two backup singers, Tina and Michelle, are auditioning to perform at a club (“Take Me to Heaven”). The club is owned by Deloris’ boyfriend, Curtis Jackson. Curtis and his henchmen Joey, TJ, Pablo, and Ernie are listening to the audition. After the girls finish their song, Curtis is dismissive, telling Deloris they’re not good enough to perform at his club. Deloris is upset by this and says that she will go try someplace else. Curtis responds to her saying, “Where you gonna go without me?” assuring her that when she is ready, he will open his doors to her. Curtis then gives her a Christmas present; a blue fur. Deloris finds it hideous, and then realizes that it was not even purchased for her, but is actually a hand-me-down of Curtis’ wife. Furious, she decides she can do much better without Curtis (“Fabulous, Baby!”).
Curtis is with his four thugs in an alley when he pulls out his pistol and puts it to Ernie’s head. He questions Ernie about why he was at the police station for four hours that afternoon. Ernie assures Curtis that it was not him talking, but that it was one of the others. After a quick questioning of the other cronies, Curtis decides to go with his gut and shoots Ernie in the head. Right at that moment they hear a scream, turning to see Deloris who has walked into the alley, just as Ernie was shot. Deloris promises that she won’t tell anyone what she saw, thanks Curtis for the fur, and runs away. Curtis orders his cronies to go get her and bring her back, and if she refuses, to kill her. The guys take off after Deloris who runs to a police station, exclaiming that she needs help because she just witnessed a murder. Officer Eddie Souther takes her statement, dismayed to learn that it was Ernie Williams who was killed as he was their best informant against Curtis. Eddie bets that it was Curtis Jackson who killed Ernie, which Deloris confirms. Deloris then realizes that she knows Eddie and that they actually went