Newly Unveiled Digital Initiatives Help Fans Virtually Collaborate with Usher during Performance
American Express® Cardmembers To Enjoy Exclusive Offers
In Celebration of Usher's album release LOOKING 4 MYSELF in stores June 11 in the UK and June 12 in the US NEW YORK, May 31, 2012 --
Today, American Express, in partnership with VEVO and YouTube, announced that seven-time Grammy® award-winning and multi-platinum recording artist Usher and director Hamish Hamilton have been selected to create this art-in-motion experience for its popular livestream music series, "American Express Unstaged." Usher's exclusive performance will be livestreamed from the Hammersmith Apollo in London, at 4:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM PT on Monday, June 11 at www.youtube.com/UsherVEVO. Fans can also watch the live event on VEVO's free mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and the YouTube mobile website. The stream is also available for the first time ever on VEVO's Xbox Live app. The global event will coincide with, and celebrate, the debut of Usher's highly anticipated album, LOOKING 4 MYSELF (RCA Records), set for release June 11th in the UK and June 12th in the U.S.
Comments Usher, "I am excited to introduce my new album LOOKING 4 MYSELF with a worldwide performance in such an innovative way. It's very exciting to interact with my fans from a global stage through American Express Unstaged's live stream. Using the cutting-edge 'take the stage' technology will allow my fans to join me virtually via their dancing avatars on stage at London's renowned Hammersmith Apollo Theatre. Be there on June 11th."
Renowned for his innovative directing style and technical skill in capturing live events, along with possessing an innate artistry in filming music and movement, Hamish Hamilton, Grammy and BAFTA award-nominated director of the 2011 and 2012 Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show, 2011 MTV Video Music Awards and the 82nd Academy Awards® telecast, was hand-selected by Usher and American Express to flawlessly capture this unique, high-energy performance for fans watching across the globe, via online music leaders VEVO and YouTube. Usher and Hamish Hamilton have had a long-standing creative bond, having worked together on several live performances, creating historic cinematic moments that fans love and anticipate from Usher.
"I'm really excited about partnering with Usher – he is an exhilarating performer. I'm going to transport every viewer to Hammersmith in my home town of London to enjoy Usher in the most visceral way possible," said filmmaker Hamish Hamilton. "Helping to elevate his killer performance, artistic flair, and his new sounds out to the global masses for the 'American Express Unstaged' livestream experience will be fun."
Innovative Digital Experiences
American Express, in partnership with VEVO and YouTube, will continue to provide revolutionary access to Usher fans and music enthusiasts worldwide through several innovative digital features and one-of-a-kind content that further blur the line between an at-home and in-concert "Unstaged" experience.
For the first time in "American Express Unstaged" history, American Express will unveil a new total viewing experience as the performance stage itself will transform into an interactive conduit between the global audience, Usher and Hamish Hamilton. A new in-venue stage display, complete with state-of-the-art LCD screens and revolutionary technology, will deliver an interactive digital canvas showcasing the unique in-stream collaboration and enhanced access that music enthusiasts have come to love and expect from an "American Express Unstaged" production. During key moments of Usher's high-flying performance, the stage will digitally come to life and reflect the tremendous energy and self-expression of fans worldwide as they come together to virtually impact the show.
- "Take the Stage": For the first time ever, fans worldwide
can virtually take the stage with Usher during his "American Express
Unstaged" performance. Beginning tomorrow, fans can visit
create a customized digital dancer featuring some of Usher's best
choreographed dance moves. A selection of fan-submitted dancers will "Take
The Stage" with Usher in a two-way live and digital montage, during the
performance of his hit single "Scream."
- "Press Pass Challenge": Fans can submit questions to Usher at americanexpressentertainment.com where members of the American Express Entertainment community will vote on their favorite, with the winning question ultimately answered by Usher. The lucky fan who submits the winning question will receive two tickets and backstage passes to an upcoming Usher performance. See Official Rules for details.
- "Word to Usher": During the performance, select fan tweets
containing #AmexUNSTAGED will be chosen to appear in an interactive visual
installation that is reactive to Usher's dance movements on the stage
- Xbox Live Integration: For the first time ever, Usher's performance will be livestreamed on Xbox Live for fans around the world, via the VEVO application.
- Rebroadcast: Following the live performance, Usher's "American Express Unstaged" performance will be rebroadcast for 12 hours at www.youtube.com/UsherVEVO. Following the rebroadcast, fans can watch clips of the concert on YouTube, Twitter, and XBOX Live, via the VEVO application.
Exclusive Specials for Cardmembers
American Express created the "American Express Unstaged" music series as a means for delivering premium music experiences to fans everywhere. For Usher's June 11th performance, Cardmembers can take advantage of a variety of exclusive offers and experiences:
- Free Music Downloads: Beginning today, and for a limited
time only, Cardmembers can download a free copy of Usher's hit single
"Scream" by visiting iTunes at
- Valuable Purchase Offers: Fans who register for Serve®
from American Express will receive a $25 statement credit when they spend
$25 or more on their first purchase. Serve is a digital prepaid account
that's loaded with features and benefits. Use the prepaid card everywhere
American Express Cards are accepted in the U.S. And use it to send and
receive money online, mobile, and on Facebook. Get the app for your iPhone®,
Android(TM), or Windows® Phone.
- Sync and Save: Music-loving Cardmembers who sync their eligible American Express Card with their Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare accounts at Sync.AmericanExpress.com can unlock savings and experiences to fuel their passion for film and entertainment. Special offers will be announced during Usher's livestream performance.
Usher's "American Express Unstaged" performance will be the ninth installment of the innovative digital livestream series created by American Express, in partnership with VEVO and YouTube. Tickets for the June 11th performance at the Hammersmith Apollo in London are now available for American Express Cardmembers during an exclusive presale window at http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/. Tickets for the general public will be available beginning June 1st, at 9:00 AM CET at http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/. For more information about American Express and music, please visit americanexpress.com/entertainment.
About Usher and his Upcoming Album LOOKING 4 MYSELF
On his seventh studio album, LOOKING 4 MYSELF, seven-time Grammy winner Usher takes some bold steps into unexpected musical territory. Assuming the most active role of his career as a songwriter, and working with a wide range of producers and collaborators—including Diplo, Swedish House Mafia, Max Martin, Will I. Am, and Luke Steele of Empire of the Sun— Usher is one of the best-selling musical artists in history, with over 43 million albums sold worldwide, and has blended electro dance beats with his signature, era-defining R&B, pop, and hip-hop sounds to create a style that goes beyond genre. The lead single from LOOKING 4 MYSELF "Climax," is Usher's 12th #1 single, extending Usher's lead for the most No. 1s on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs during the Nielsen Music era (since December 1992) according to Billboard Magazine. His recently released new single "Scream" was #1 Most Added at Rhythm & Top 40 Radio first week out and his just released third single "Lemme See" featuring Rick Ross which was #1 most added at the Urban radio format upon debut. Challenging himself creatively and testing musical boundaries are characteristics that have defined Usher's career since he was first discovered an unbelievable twenty years ago on Star Search. Usher has been ranked by the RIAA as one of the best-selling artists in American music history, having sold over 43 million albums worldwide. He has won numerous awards including seven Grammy Awards and was recently named the number one Hot 100 artist of the 2000s decade. Billboard named him the second most successful artist of the 2000s decade, with his career-propelling 2004 album Confessions being ranked as the top solo album of the 2000s decade. Usher has attained nine Hot 100 number-one hits (all as a lead artist) and has attained seventeen Hot 100 top-ten singles. www.usherworld.com.
About "American Express Unstaged"
Usher's June 11th performance represents the ninth installment within the innovative music series "American Express Unstaged," which launched in the summer of 2010 in partnership with VEVO and YouTube. Bringing the in-concert and at-home viewing experiences to new heights, "American Express Unstaged" showcases 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.
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, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
VEVO is the world's leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform with offices in New York, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco. VEVO is available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand through VEVO.com, Mobile and Tablet Apps (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry Playbook), Connected Television (Xbox, Boxee) and user embeddable video players. VEVO powers music videos on artist pages across Facebook, as well as syndicates to dozens of online sites, including AOL, BET, CBS Interactive Music Group (including Last.fm and MP3.com), Fuse.tv, Univision, Viacom Media Networks and Yahoo! Music. Additionally, through a special partnership with YouTube, VEVO is accessible in over 200 countries, expanding the platform's reach around the globe.
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.