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Mary J. Blige Featured in E!'s OPENING ACT, Premiering Tonight, 7/9

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From International Emmy® winning producer Nigel Lythgoe comes the new series that breaks the mold of talent/reality television. In OPENING ACT, Lythgoe and his A-List Artist Development Team – including Grammy® winning superstar Mary J. Blige and chart-topping producer Antonina Armato from Rock Mafia – comb the Internet to find the web's most talented amateurs, then give them the once-in-a-lifetime chance to open for a top music superstar. But here, there are no judges to woo, auditions to pass or rounds to win: Each band or solo act has only days to prepare after a surprise visit that presents them with an opportunity they never knew existed, and viewers follow them from obscurity to the big-time gig that could change their lives forever. A true first of its kind, "Opening Act" will showcase not only some extraordinary, unknown talent, but the emotional and very personal journey that awaits them on their way to perform on a national stage. Produced by Nigel Lythgoe Productions, "Opening Act" premieres tonight, July 9 at 10:00 pm ET/PT only on E!

In an online world where success is measured by page views, launching a music career is often an unattainable dream. But unbeknownst to these hopeful performers, Lythgoe, Blige and Armato are excited by what they see and hear. They'll send acclaimed television personality Olivia Lee – best known for her hidden camera segments on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" – to surprise these performers with the news that their online clips have opened a door to a future they never saw coming. They're immediately brought to Hollywood for an extreme 'performance boot camp', intense mentoring sessions with top industry heavyweights, and finally, the one-night-only performance that can make or break the career of their dreams. Each act will be teamed with a superstar headliner to open a show on their current world tours, including:

-Nicki Minaj – James L. Knight Center, Miami, Florida
-Rod Stewart – Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
-LMFAO – Amway Center, Orlando, Florida (Part of the 'Sorry for Party Rocking' Tour presented by Redfoo and Cherrytree Records)
-Brad Paisley -- Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, California
-Jason Aldean – Oak Mountain Ampitheatre, Birmingham, Alabama
-Jason Mraz – Waikiki Shell, Honolulu, Hawaii
-Gym Class Heroes – El Paso, Texas

"This series is about truly talented, passionate people – they weren't seeking fame, but thanks to Nigel, his team and the headliners, fame came knocking on their door," said Suzanne Kolb, President, E! Entertainment. "With this unexpected break and whirlwind journey comes raw emotion, nerves and intense preparation. The question is whether or not the opening acts can truly seize the moment and use this extraordinary opportunity as a stepping stone to the career they never thought possible."


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