Music Superstar John Legend to Headline NBA All-Star Entertainment
Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter John Legend and 17-time Latin Grammy winner Juanes will perform during the 2009 NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show on Sunday, Feb. 15, at US Airways Center in Phoenix. Prior to the start of the game, Pop superstar Chris Brown along with Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal will introduce the All-Star players. The performances will air live on TNT, Score Canada, ESPN Radio, and in more than 200 countries and territories beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
To open the pre-game festivities, Brown, nominated for three 2009 Grammy’s, will team up with O’Neal, a 14-time All-Star, to introduce the Eastern and Western Conference teams. The pre-game spectacular will also feature a dance performance by the winners of MTV’s America’s Next Dance Crew, the JabbaWockeeZ.
Legend, nominated for three 2009 Grammy’s, will open Sunday’s dramatic halftime show by performing an extended version of “If You’re Out There,” a heartfelt song of hope and inspiration from his current hit album Evolver, which Legend first performed live at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. It was conceived as a call-to-action and evocation of human potential reflecting the themes of hope, responsibility, leadership and commitment to a better tomorrow. As part of the song, an NBA Cares-themed video montage will play in-arena and on television featuring All-Stars working to improve their communities.
Legend will be joined by Latin rock star and fellow humanitarian, Juanes. The Los Angeles Times recently hailed the 17-Time Latin Grammy winner as “the single most important figure of the past decade in Latin music,” while TIME has recognized his work for landmine victims and other social causes by naming him as “One of the World’s 100 Most influential People.”
“I'm really happy to play at the NBA All-Star Game again. I'm a big NBA fan, and I'm excited to be part of the festivities,” said John Legend. “I'm particularly happy to be involved in the NBA Cares initiative. I wrote ‘If You're Out There’ for just this kind of effort and I hope I'm part of mobilizing NBA players and fans to give back to their communities and think outside of themselves.”
On Friday, Feb. 13, Legend, a humanitarian known for his efforts to combat poverty throughout the world through his Show Me Campaign, will join NBA All-Stars, legends, NBA business and media partners and guests taking part in the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service, which will feature several community service projects providing help to those in need in Phoenix.
OTHER NOTABLE ALL-STAR PERFORMANCES
On Friday, Feb. 13, actor/recording artist Corbin Bleu, star of Disney’s Emmy Award-winning High School Musical, will entertain fans at halftime of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam at US Airways Center (9 p.m. ET, TNT). Bleu will perform his single, Moments That Matter from his forthcoming album, “Speed of Light,” available March 10 from Hollywood Records.
On Saturday, Feb. 14, chart-topping singer/guitarist Kevin Rudolf will perform his smash hit “Let It Rock,” which has sold more than two million digital singles and is top 10 in five countries, to energize more than 18,000 basketball fans prior to the highly-anticipated Sprite Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Saturday Night (8 p.m. ET, TNT).
About the Artists
John Legend (GOOD Music/Columbia) -- The singer/songwriter from Springfield, Ohio began playing piano at 4 years old. Critics have called him a genius and one of the most compelling and important singer/songwriters of his generation. He has sold more than five million albums worldwide and garnered multiple hit singles (“Ordinary People,” “Used to Love You,” “So High,” “Save Room,” “Heaven,” “Another Again”) and receiving countless awards (including five Grammys). A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Legend’s career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with established artists. After much anticipation, his debut studio album, the multiplatinum-selling Get Lifted was released in late 2004. Get Lifted produced two singles: “Used to Love U” (U.S. top 100, UK top 30) and "Ordinary People" (U.S. and UK top 30). His second acclaimed studio album, Once Again, was released in October 2006. In October 2008, he released his third studio album Evolver. Legend has earned three 2009 Grammy nominations including one for his single “Green Light;” another for Best Song for “American Boy,” which he wrote with Estelle, Kanye West and will.i.am; and Best R & B Performance by Duo or Group for “Stay With Me” with Al Green. In addition to being a musical superstar, Legend devotes much of his time to philanthropic projects including his Show Me Campaign (www.showmecampaign.org), through which he has adopted Mbola, a village in western Tanzania, to help lift its residents out of extreme poverty. In addition, Legend and economist Jeffrey Sachs have traveled the U.S. on a “Poverty Action Tour” to bring the message of sustainable development to the nation’s college students.
Juanes (Universal) -- Born in Medellín, the Colombian rock star is one of the top-selling Spanish language musicians in the world, having already sold more than 10 million albums and winning 17 LATIN GRAMMYS- more than any other artist to date. Juanes’ Multi-platinum album La Vida… Es Un Ratico was the top-selling Latin album of 2008 at iTunes, and he once-again topped Billboard’s Year-End list of “Hot Latin Songs Artists” as the performer with the greatest success at Latin radio throughout the year. After again leading the 2008 field of winners at both the Latin Grammy and MTV Latin America Awards, Juanes was also recognized as the recipient of The Organization of American States’ first humanitarian award -honoring his wide dedication to social causes and his specific efforts to help landmine victims in Colombia through his Mi Sangre Foundation.
Chris Brown (Jive, Zomba, LBW) --The Tappahannock, Virginia native is a Grammy-nominated American American pop singer, songwriter, dancer, music video director and actor. He made his recording debut in late 2005 with Chris Brown at the age of 16 featuring the hit single "Run It!," which topped the Billboard Hot 100, making Brown the first male artist to have his debut single top the chart. The album has sold over two million copies in the United States and was certified double Platinum. Brown's second studio album, Exclusive, also on its way to be certified double Platinum, was released worldwide in November 2007 and spawned two successful singles; his second U.S. number one hit, "Kiss Kiss" featuring T-Pain and "With You," which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. Brown has released a deluxe version of his album called the The Forever Edition. The first single, "Forever," was released in May 2008 and reached number two on Billboard Hot 100 before becoming certified Platinum. In addition to his solo commercial success, Brown has been featured on several hits such as "No Air," a duet with singer Jordin Sparks, "Shortie like Mine" with the rapper Bow Wow and "Shawty Get Loose" alongside Lil Mama and T-Pain. The songs have peaked on number three, number nine and number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively.
Corbin Bleu (Hollywood Records) -- The High School Musical star began his career starring in commercials and, at age 6, appeared in his first Off Broadway production in the play Tiny Tim is Dead. Bleu and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1996 and he quickly landed a recurring role on the series High Incident. He has appeared in two of the three highest-rated Disney Channel Original Movies ever: two-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning High School Musical 2 (2007) and Jump In! (2007). High School Musical was a major success and Bleu went on to star in the two sequels of the film. Bleu’s skills in the HSM movies came natural since his love of dance dates back to his early years of taking jazz and ballet classes. Bleu was one of the first students accepted into the Prestigious Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Bleu is currently putting the finishing touches on his second studio album, “Speed of Light,” due for release on March 10 via Hollywood Records. Bleu co-wrote Moments that Matter and Champion with Claude Kelly (both tracks produced by Eric Hudson), allowing Bleu to show his growth as an artist firsthand.
Kevin Rudolf (Cash Money Records/Universal Republic Records) -- Rudolf picked up the guitar at age 11 and knew he had a passion for it. He earned his recognition as a guitarist/producer offering his scorching guitar brand to trailblazers such as Timbaland, Nelly Furtado and the Black Eyed Peas. His debut album, In the City, was released in November 2008, and includes the song "Let It Rock," which features label-mate Lil Wayne. "Let It Rock" has sold more than two million digital singles and is TOP 10 in five countries. Rudolf's music has been featured in more than a dozen film and TV placements including CSI; MTV’s The Hills; Dancing with the Stars; 24, 90210, and more.
JabbaWockeeZ -- A diverse all-male dance crew, the JabbaWockeeZ were created in 2003 by Joe Larot, Kevin Brewer, and Phil Tayag. The group gained fame by appearing on America's Got Talent before winning the MTV reality series America's Best Dance Crew on March 27, 2008. The crew won $100,000 and a touring contract. Known for wearing plain white masks and gloves and performing synchronized dance moves, their name is derived from the Lewis Carroll poem Jabberwocky. The crew has toured the world and launched a clothing brand, JBWKZ. They also performed live at the 2008 MuchMusic Video Music Awards in Canada.
About NBA All-Star 2009
NBA All-Star 2009 in Phoenix will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. Among the many events that will reach fans in more than 200 countries in more than 40 languages are the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, PlayStation Skills Challenge, Haier Shooting Stars, McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas, and the 58th NBA All-Star Game, played on Sunday, Feb. 15, at US Airways Center and broadcast on TNT for the 24th year. This will be the third NBA All-Star in Phoenix. The city also hosted the event in 1975 and 1995.
About NBA Cares
NBA Cares is the league's social responsibility initiative that builds on the NBA's long tradition of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this umbrella program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated more than $97 million to charity, provided more than 800,000 hours of hands-on service to communities around the world, and created more than 350 places where kids and families can live, learn or play. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: KaBOOM!, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.