American Express announced today that John Legend and The Roots will perform at Terminal 5 in New York City on September 23 as part of "Unstaged: An Original Series from American Express." It was also announced that award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee (Inside Man, Miracle at St. Anna, Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing) will direct the headline performance. The show represents the second installment of American Express' "Unstaged" program, which launched in July, and is the latest offering from American Express in partnership with VEVO, the leading online premium music video and entertainment service, and YouTube, to feature five live-stream concerts with some of today's most talented musicians and directors over the course of the year. The performance, which will also feature surprise musical guests, will be live-streamed at 9:00PM/ET at www.youtube.com/johnlegendvevo and coincides with the highly anticipated collaborative album release, Wake Up!, from Legend and The Roots on September 21.
"I am thrilled to help bring to life the extraordinary vision of John Legend and The Roots for this one-of-a-kind collaboration," said filmmaker Spike Lee.
The collaborative covers album, titled Wake Up!, from music sensations John Legend and The Roots features a variety of songs from the 1960's and 70's – all with an underlying theme of awareness, engagement and consciousness. The album is not only designed to represent change, hope and activism, but also features the original track "Shine" from the upcoming documentary film Waiting for Superman. The September 23rd "Unstaged" performance will mark the first time John Legend and The Roots perform together since the album debuts on September 21.
"Following our hugely successful kick-off event last month, we are excited to partner with this talented trio of artists for the next installment of Unstaged," said Courtney Kelso, vice president, Sports and Entertainment Access Strategy, American Express. "Combining an exciting concert experience, dynamic live stream, talented musical artists and an award-winning director is a way that we are providing unparalleled access to special events for Cardmembers and music lovers alike."
Bringing both the in-concert and at-home viewing experiences to entirely new heights, "Unstaged: An Original Series from American Express" features some of the music industry's most breakthrough artists playing at landmark venues across the country, while tapping some of today's most influential filmmakers to direct the live-streams and using digital and social media to connect the online audience to the live shows in unexpected ways. Additional artists are set to be unveiled in the coming months.
"YouTube is honored to bring John Legend and The Roots, straight from Spike Lee's camera, to fans around the world," said Glenn Otis Brown, the head of Music Partnerships at YouTube.
"The Unstaged series is exploding!" said David Kohl, EVP, Sales and Customer Operations, VEVO. "John Legend and The Roots directed by Spike Lee is another once-in-a-lifetime concert event that breaks new ground for fans across the web. Everyone at VEVO, American Express and YouTube is committed to delivering an original and distinct music experience for fans everywhere. Audience feedback across the board has been phenomenal."
American Express® Cardmembers and music enthusiasts can digitally connect to these live music experiences in ways that further blur the line between an at-home and in-concert experience:
- Choose Your Cam: The audience can control their viewing experience throughout the concert by switching between Spike Lee's main "director stream" and a second camera stream capturing alternative angles of the performance;
- Vote for the "Uncovered Song": Online viewers can impact one performance of the night through real-time voting, choosing between a set of retrospective songs that weren't covered on WAKE UP!;
- On-line Pre Show: To raise anticipation around the performance, viewers who tune in early to the live-stream can watch a special segment with Legend and The Roots directed by Spike Lee; and
- Tweet The Band: Further connecting the audience to the artists, fans can send questions to Legend and The Roots through a special Twitter hashtag, #amexjohnlegend, for a chance to have them answered in an exclusive video segment during the Pre Show.
Leading up to the September 23rd performance, fans will be able to pre-order the new album by visiting iTunes, and receive insider updates on the performance – including news on surprise guests by following American Express on Twitter, via @AmericanExpress. Additionally, fans can visit www.youtube.com/johnlegendvevo for a special video where Legend and ?uestlove personally invite fans to tune-in to the live-stream on September 23rd.
Cardmembers and music fans will have the opportunity to take a step towards making a difference in the world through Members Project ® from American Express and John Legend's non-profit organization, the Show Me Campaign. Participants can log on to Members Project ® from American Express where they can learn more about the program and the different ways to get involved, such as volunteering at a local organization, voting for charities to receive funding from American Express, and sharing unique content with friends.
For more information about American Express and music, please visit americanexpress.com/entertainment.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.
VEVO is the web's leading online premium music video and entertainment service with over one billion worldwide streams and nearly 60 million unique visitors in the U.S. and Canada each month. VEVO's programming is made available across the VEVO Network, which includes VEVO.com (the service's marquee destination site), VEVO Mobile, VEVO on YouTube, and a VEVO-branded embedded player. The service also serves as a syndication platform for additional internet destination sites, including AOL and CBS Interactive Music Group, expanding the reach of the VEVO Network across the worldwide web. VEVO was created in partnership by Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment (SME) and the Abu Dhabi Media Company. It is operated independently by a dedicated management team with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco. Explore VEVO at http://vevo.com. Journalists/Bloggers can stay updated on VEVO news at http://twitter.com/VEVO_Media
YouTube is the world's most popular online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. Our mission is for YOU to discover and shape the world through video. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube, LLC is based in San Bruno, CA and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.