Pharrell Williams Headlines NBA All-Star Weekend Today
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced that Oscar-nominated musician Pharrell Williams, coming off of his multi-Grammy Award-winning night, will headline the "Entertainment Series presented by Sean John at Macy's" during the 63rd NBA All-Star Game tonight, Feb. 16, at New Orleans Arena. The game will air live at 8 p.m. ET on TNT, ESPN Radio, and in 215 countries and territories in more than 47 languages. Recently added performers will include Jason Derulo, Aloe Blacc and Mack Wilds.
Williams will make a grand entrance when he opens the NBA All-Star 2014 festivities with the only player introductions set in all of sports, featuring surprise musical guests. The electrifying performance will be followed by Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. who will perform the U.S. National Anthem and Canadian singer-songwriter Serena Ryder who will perform the Canadian National Anthem.
At halftime, New Orleans native Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue will tip off the celebration of New Orleans-influenced music with performers including multiplatinum singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dr. John, Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist Gary Clark Jr. and the legendary band Earth, Wind & Fire.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, prior to the highly anticipated Sprite Slam Dunk Contest airing live at 8 p.m. ET on TNT, Grammy-nominated artist Kendrick Lamar will perform an exclusive medley of smash hits from his critically acclaimed albums.
For a look at how Pharrell Williams prepares for his headlining act at NBA All-Star, visit http://www.nba.com/video.html check out a promo spot created by Turner Sports.
About the Artists
Gary Clark, Jr. (WB Records) - Gary Clark, Jr. is a Grammy-winning guitarist, songwriter and actor based in Austin, Texas. For his song "Ain't Messin Round", Clark was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 2013. On January 26th, 2014, Clark won the Grammy award for Best Traditional R&B performance at the 56th annual Grammy Awards Ceremony for his song "Please Come Home." SPIN magazine named him the breakout artist for the month of November 2011 and Rolling Stone ranked his "Bright Lights" EP no. 40 on its list of top 50 albums of 2011. "Bright Lights" can be heard in the video game Max Payne 3, the premiere episode of House of Lies, as well as in the movie Think Like a Man. In 2012, Clark was awarded SPIN Magazine's Golden Corndog award for performing in more major North American Music Festivals in 2012 than any other musician on the planet.
Earth, Wind & Fire (Sony Music Entertainment) - Earth, Wind & Fire, is one of the top-selling and most celebrated musical groups of all time. EWF's founding members Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson continue to perform to sold-audiences on every continent in the world. With sales exceeding 90 million albums, EWF's legacy has influenced pop culture and they have become a staple in contemporary music. The legendary band has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, earned eight Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, and achievement honors from the NAACP and the BET Awards. President Barack Obama invited Earth, Wind & Fire to perform at the White House for the first social event of the new administration. Earth, WInd & Fire has released 20 studio albums over the past 40 years. The latest, "Now, Then & Forever," (Legacy / Sony Music) debuted on the Billboard Album Chart at #11 solidifying the band among the elite in popular music to achieve multiple hits over four decades.
Dr. John (Rex, Ace, Atco, Blue Note, Nonesuch, GRP, Trip, United Artists, Concord) - The legendary Dr. John is a six-time Grammy Award-winning musician and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Known throughout the world as the embodiment of New Orleans' musical legacy, Dr. John is a true icon in American culture. His colorful musical career began in the 1950s when he wrote and played guitar on some of the greatest records to come out of the Crescent City, including recordings by Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Joe Tex and Frankie Ford. Dr. John headed west in the 1960s, where he continued to be in demand as a session musician, playing on records by Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones' "Exile On Main St." During that time he launched his solo career, developing the charismatic persona of Dr. John The Nite Tripper. A legend was born with his breakthrough 1968 album "Gris-Gris," which introduced to the world his unique blend of voodoo mysticism, funk, rhythm & blues, psychedelic rock and Creole roots. Several of his many career highlights include the masterful album "Sun, Moon and Herbs" in 1971 which included cameos from Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger and 1973's "In The Right Place," which contained the chart hits "Right Place Wrong Time" and "Such A Night." In addition to his six Grammy wins (1989, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008 and 2013), he has received six other Grammy nominations over the years. In 2007 he was nominated for "Sippiana Hericane," his Hurricane Katrina benefit disc. After Hurricane Katrina Dr. John immediately stepped up to the plate with generous relief fund-raising concerts and recordings. In 2008 he released "City That Care Forgot," winning him a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album, was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, the Blues Hall of Fame, and performed at the 2008 NBA All-Star Saturday Night. His latest album "Locked Down", released in 2012 with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys also won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. In 2013 Dr. John was awarded an honorary doctorate from Tulane University alongside His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Further, Dr. John is currently hard at work completing an album in tribute to Louis Armstrong which will be released in June of this year. After a half century of creating music for others and himself, Dr. John continues to write, arrange, produce and interpret with a passion that has yet to wane.
Kendrick Lamar (Top Dawg Entertainment /Aftermath Entertainment /Interscope Records) -- Top Dawg Entertainment and Grammy-nominated recording artist Kendrick Lamar, crowned the "New King of the West Coast" by Dr. Dre and Snoop Lion last year, accumulated a large following early in his career. His mixtape "Section.80," ranked as one of the top digital hip-hop albums of 2011, reaching Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop Top 25, Rap Top 15 and Top 200 Albums charts. Prior to receiving national recognition, Lamar worked with hip-hop greats like Dr. Dre, The Game, Lil Wayne, Drake, Young Jeezy, Busta Rhymes, E-40 and Talib Kweli. This year, Lamar received a total of seven Grammy nominations for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards (2014), including Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Best Rap Song. His major label debut studio album "good kid, m.A.A.d city," was released in 2012 to widespread acclaim and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, selling over 240,000 copies in its first week. The album generated three number one Urban radio singles, "Swimming Pools (Drank)," "Poetic Justice" and "Don't Kill My Vibe." It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and was named as one of the best albums of 2012 by The New York Times, Time Magazine, New York Magazine and Pitchfork. In 2013, MTV named Lamar the No. 1 Hottest MC in the Game on its annual list. That year he also performed alongside the co-headlining Dr. Dre and Snoop Lion at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival. At the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards, Lamar won five awards, including Album of the Year and Lyricist of the Year. In November 2013, he was named GQ's "Rapper of the Year," and was featured on the cover of the magazine's "Men of the Year" issue. After performing at this year's Grammys, Lamar will continue his international tour, stopping in South Africa, Australia and Mexico
Janelle Monáe (Wondaland Arts Society/Bad Boy Records/Atlantic) -- Janelle Monáe is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, performer, producer and CoverGirl spokesperson known for her unique style and groundbreaking sound. Immersed in the performing arts at a young age, she founded her record label the Wondaland Arts Society releasing the EP "Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase)." In 2010, Monáe released the highly anticipated and critically acclaimed "ArchAndroid," which reached No. 17 on the Billboard Charts and earned her two Grammy nominations, including one for the hit single "Tightrope." Monáe performed at that year's awards alongside Bruno Mars and B.O.B. In 2012, she was chosen as the new face of CoverGirl and became a spokesperson for the home audio company Sonos. In 2013, she released the critically acclaimed album "The Electric Lady" featuring artists like Prince and Miguel, which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The album's first single "Q.U.E.E.N." garnered rave reviews and the accompanying video received over 4 million Youtube views in its first week and a coveted MTV VMA Moonman. That same year Monáe made her "Saturday Night Live" debut and received Billboard's prestigious Rising Star Award. This year, Monáe received four NAACP Image Award nominations, and will tour across the UK beginning in March.
Serena Ryder (Serenader Source / Capitol Records) -- Over the last year, Serena Ryder has logged thousands of miles all over the world supporting her Capitol Records album "Harmony." Touring with such artists as One Republic and Michael Franti, appearing on such national television shows as "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Queen Latifah Show" and in the pages of such major publications as Interview, The New York Times and Esquire, Ryder propelled her record-breaking single "Stompa" to the top of the AAA charts where it sat in the Number One position for 8 consecutive weeks. More recently, Ryder's follow up single, "What I Wouldn't Do," continues to grow at radio and promises to build on the substantial success the Toronto-based singer has already enjoyed.
Trombone Shorty (Verve Forecast) -- New Orleans native Trombone Shorty began his career as a bandleader at the young age of six, toured internationally at age 12, and spent his teens playing with various brass bands throughout New Orleans and touring worldwide with Lenny Kravitz. He is currently the front man for his own ensemble Orleans Avenue, a funk/rock/jazz/hip-hop band. Together, Trombone Shorty and the band have toured across the U.S., Europe, Australia, Russia, Japan and Brazil. In 2010, Trombone Shorty released his debut album, the Grammy®-nominated "Backatown," followed by "For True" in 2011, which topped Billboard magazine's Contemporary Jazz Chart for 12 weeks. His newest album, "Say That to This," was released in 2013 and features funk/jazz elements of New Orleans. Trombone Shorty appeared in several episodes of HBO's "Treme," and has recently appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" and "Conan." In 2012, he performed at the White House in honor of Black History Month with music royalty such as B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and Booker T. Jones. At this year's Grammy Awards, he performed alongside Madonna, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert. In 2012, he received the President's Medal from Tulane University in recognition of his charitable work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation. In collaboration with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the Trombone Shorty Foundation donates quality instruments to schools across New Orleans.
Pharrell Williams (Columbia Records) - Redefining cool for a new generation, Pharrell Williams is a creative force, using music, fashion, and design to express his distinctive style. From his beginnings as a teenage prodigy and multi-instrumentalist in Virginia Beach back in the early '90s, through enough hits to earn him Billboard's Producer of the Decade in 2010, to his current status as multi-media superstar, Williams has never stopped creating. Starting his producing career as one half of The Neptunes with Chad Hugo, Williams has helped create such classics as Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," Nelly's "Hot in Herre," Jay-Z's "I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me)," Britney Spears's "I'm A Slave 4 U," and Justin Timberlake's "Like I Love You." With over 100 million copies of his productions sold, his music sounds like something no one else has thought of just yet. The music industry has honored Pharrell with 7 Grammy Awards (including 2004's and 2014's "Producer of the Year") and ASCAP's prestigious Golden Note Award in 2012. He has also received a 2014 Academy Award Nomination for his original song "Happy" featured in the animated film Despicable Me 2. He's also created a new way of looking at established stars like Snoop Dogg, Madonna, and even the Rolling Stones. Over four albums, Williams and Hugo along with Shay Haley created an unpredictable hybrid as part of the alt-rock/hip-hop group N.E.R.D. His prolific body of work also ranges from designing a sculpture with Tokyo-born artist Takashi Murakami to accessories and jewelry for luxury goods brand Louis Vuitton. Now, with his latest venture i am OTHER - a multi-media creative collective that serves as an umbrella for all his endeavors, including Billionaire Boys Club & ICECREAM apparel, textile company Bionic Yarn and dedicated Youtube channel - Williams's vision continues to push pop culture forward.
About Sean John
Sean John, a privately held company, was created by music icon Sean "Diddy" Combs and made its fashion debut with a men's sportswear collection for the spring 1999 season. In 2004, Sean "Diddy" Combs for Sean John was honored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America as Men's Wear Designer of the Year. With annual retail sales in the United States of over $525 million, Sean John remains one of the most impressive full lifestyle brands in the US and around the world. In May 2010, Sean John signed a deal with Macy's to be the exclusive U.S. department store retailer for the Sean John men's sportswear collection beginning in Holiday 2010. The Sean John product is available online at macys.com and in over 400 Macy's stores across the country, with additional doors to be added in the years ahead. Learn more at www.seanjohn.com
About NBA All-Star 2014
NBA All-Star 2014 in New Orleans will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league's history for a global celebration of the game. The 63rd NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 at New Orleans Arena, will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 12th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 30th year of All-Star coverage. Other events at NBA All-Star 2014 will include State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, NBA Development League All-Star Game, Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and NBA All-Star Jam Session.