Mary J. Blige clutches two cell phones as she waves outside the London Studios. (Nov. 2, 2011)
*Mary J. Blige will take the stage on Thursday, Nov. 17, as part of American Express’ livestream music series, “American Express Unstaged.”
The singer’s set will be livestreamed from Club Nokia in Los Angeles, at 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT on the singer’s VEVO page. It will also be available via VEVO and YouTube apps for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android.
Filmmaker Adam Shankman (“Hairspray,” “A Walk to Remember” and “The Wedding Planner”) will capture moments during the show and rehearsal. American Express will tease fans with the behind-the-scenes footage days before the show and offer an official pre-concert trailer via MJB’s VEVO page. [Preview below.]
Prior to her “American Express Unstaged” performance, Blige will be answering fans’ questions when chatting with Billboard.com’s editor M. Tye Comer. You’ll be able to vote for the questions MJB will answer if you’re a member of the American Express Entertainment. The fan who submits the winning question will receive two tickets and backstage passes to an upcoming Mary performance.
The AmEx concert precedes the Nov. 21 release of Blige’s 10th studio album, “My Life… The Journey Continues (Act I).” MJB has recruited her close friends — Drake, Diddy, Nas, Rick Ross and more — to deliver the soulful sequel to her breakthrough album, “My Life” (1994). The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul has also teamed up with another diva, Beyoncé, for a female empowering duet titled, “Love a Woman.” [Listen to a teaser below.]
*Choreographer Adam Shankman, currently a judge on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” has hinted that a Michael Jackson episode of “Glee” is in the works with him in the director’s chair.
The show’s executive producers announced at the Television Critics Association press tour that Shankman will definitely direct an upcoming episode of the Fox series, but they were tightlipped on the episode’s theme.
A tweet from Ryan Seacrest, however, spilled the beans.
“Just talked to Adam Shankman from SYTYCD and got a pretty heavy hint that he’s directing the MJ episode of Glee!” the “American Idol” host posted on his Twitter page.
So far, Britney Spears is the only confirmed artist getting the full “Glee” treatment in season 2.
Below, clips from “Glee’s” last tribute episode featuring all-Madonna music.
*Tyler Perry will be a presenter at the 82nd Academy Awards, telecast producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic announced today. This will be Perry’s first appearance on the show. The ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7, at the Kodak Theatre, and televised live by ABC beginning at 5 p.m. PT/ 8 p.m. ET.
*Revered actress and AIDS activist Sheryl Lee Ralph is pleased to announce the first annual DIVA Awards, taking place this Saturday, February 27th in Los Angeles and honoring Academy Award nominees Mo’Nique and Lee Daniels.
*Chicago’s Navy Pier’s tribute to Michael Jackson in salute of Black History Month wraps Sunday (Feb. 28) at Navy Pier’s Family Pavilion Stage North. Also featured is “Perseverance & Persistence: An Exhibition of Pride,” which is a gallery display that showcases the personal obstacles and struggles that various African-American pioneers and history-makers had to overcome to achieve success. Check out the latest news and information at Navy Pier’s online newsroom at: NavyPier.com.
*Damon Wayans Jr. has been cast in the ABC pilot “Happy Endings,” a single-camera comedy about a couple that breaks up at the altar and they and their friends have to figure out how to maintain their relationships. Wayans, will also be seen in two feature films this summer, a voice in the digitally animated comedy “Marmaduke” starring Owen Wilson, as well the all-star action comedy “The Other Guys” alongside Will Farrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes and Dwayne Johnson.