*Chris Tucker has been announced as the host of this year’s BET Awards, which is scheduled to take place at the Nokia Theater LA Live on June 30, 2013.
The actor, most recently scene in the Oscar-nominated “Silver Linings Playbook,” says he’s to be taking part in the awards and is “looking forward to being part of a really great show.”
BET’s President of Music Programming and Specials, Stephen Hill, said “We cannot wait for Chris to set fire to the BET Awards stage with his unique brand of mayhem,” he said. “We’ve been chasing him for years and we couldn’t be happier that he is hosting the show in this special year: the year we embark on the three-day-long BET Experience.”
As previously reported, this year’s BET Awards is part of the three day event “BET Experience at L.A. Live,” which launches with Beyonce’s June 28 concert at the Staples Center (the first U.S. show on her “Mrs. Carter” North American tour).
Other artists booked for the weekend include Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, J. Cole, Miguel and ScHoolboy Q. There will also be a special performance by The Jacksons, along with R. Kelly, New Edition, Erykah Badu, The Roots & Friends and a gospel showcase with headliner Kirk Franklin at the Club Nokia.
Recently added is Cedric the Entertainer, who will host “Cedric the Entertainer & Friends,” a comedy show showcasing some of today’s top comedians.
Tickets for the BET Experience and BET Awards are on sale now at www.betexperience.com and www.axs.com/betexperience.
*Again, there won’t be a Destiny’s Child reunion … that we know of. But Kelly Rowland managed to get the girls together, in a way for a song on her upcoming album.
“Talk A Good Game,” scheduled for a June 4th release, will feature a single with both Beyoncé and Michelle Williams.
“It’s not a Destiny’s Child track, it’s me featuring Beyoncé and Michelle,” Rowland tells Billboard.
It’s the first new music from the ladies since they released new single “Nuclear” for the recent Destiny’s Child compilation album, Love Songs. What type of vibe can fans expect? “Soulllllll,” Rowland says.
Produced by Pharrell Williams, the track will be among a collection of 12 songs. Kelly’s been working hard in the studio lately, however, making song after song.
“I think I recorded around 70-something songs for this album. I had to narrow it down to 12 – you know hard that is!” she says. “Especially when you’re in love, like your heart pumps for 35 of them. I kept going back and forth with my A&R and my manager, we’ve all been on this incredible journey together, and they’re just like ‘Save it for the next album!’ Because you just get so passionate and excited about these songs, you lived with them, you birthed them along with the producers. You become so attached.”
For this round of music, she says this one is a tribute to all of her favorite childhood inspirations like New Edition, Pebbles, and Babyface.
*You can add the Essence Music Festival to Beyonce’s packed schedule this year.
On the heels of her Super Bowl halftime show at the Superdome in New Orleans, she’ll return to the same venue to headline one of three night concerts during the annual event, which is set for the Fourth of July weekend.
Beyonce joins an Essence musical line-up that also includes Jill Scott, Maxwell, New Edition, Charlie Wilson, Keyshia Cole, LL Cool J, Brandy and others.
*BET has announced it is teaming with AEG to create “BET Experience at L.A. Live (BETX),” which involves three days and nights of music and comedy concerts, film screenings, “106 & Park” tapings, BET Fan Fest, seminars, BET Grammy Museum exhibit, various social events and celebrity appearances at the sprawling entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles.
The weekend will take place from June 28 – 30, with Beyonce set to kick off the first of three nights at the Staples Center on Friday, June. 28. Bey’s three night stand will launch the North American leg of her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.
Before Beyoncé’s performance, Mike Epps brings his comedy game to the Club Nokia stage, while Erykah Badu captivates the late night crowd in Club Nokia after Beyoncé’s performance.
On Saturday, June 29, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Miguel and Schoolboy Q headline at the Staples Center, while Club Nokia will feature an exclusive session with The Roots.
On Sunday, Kirk Franklin leads a morning Gospel celebration at Club Nokia, while R. Kelly, New Edition and The Jacksons close out the Staples Center Concert Series following the live broadcast of the BET Awards from Nokia Theatre’s L.A. Live.
“This is the next step in our evolution of the BET Awards weekend. I am proud to say that what we have planned is the greatest celebration of music, entertainment, and culture and I’m thrilled to have Beyoncé kick off our festivities,” said Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks. “We are pleased to have the perfect partner in AEG to pull off our inaugural BET Experience.”
Tickets for all announced shows and a limited amount of special VIP packages for the BET Experience will go on sale on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 beginning at 1 p.m./EST, 10 a.m./PST via BETExperience.com and AXS.com. STAPLES Center three-night packages start as low as $199. Single-night tickets are also available. Special VIP packages will offer fans the ultimate “insider access” with exclusive VIP tickets, hospitality and star-studded events. VIP packages are the only way to purchase BET Awards tickets, available for the first time for purchase. Additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition to concerts, comedy shows and the BET Awards, the BET Experience at L.A. Live will feature:
- “106 & Park” Stage: “106 & Park,” the number one music countdown show, brings the livest audience to their exclusive stage in Nokia Plaza L.A. Live throughout the weekend with free musical performances, new talent showcases and celebrity appearances.
- Music Matters Stage: This free outdoor stage will showcase up-and-coming artists associated with the BET Music Matters initiative, which has introduced BET Awards show-stopping, Grammy winning, chart-topping new talent to the world including Melanie Fiona, Marsha Ambrosius, and Luke James.
- BET Grammy Museum Exhibit: A special curated exhibit of past BET Awards Lifetime Achievement Honorees will be staged at L.A. Live’s Grammy Museum during the weekend.
- BET Revealed Seminars: BET presents celebrity-filled seminars featuring real talk on money, culture, entertainment, family, celebrity and relationships at the JW Marriott L.A. Live.
- BET Experience Film Fest: BET’s first ever film fest will showcase a diversity of films – studio releases, narratives, documentaries and shorts. Curated with Urbanworld and taking place at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live, this will be a “people’s film festival” with no cost to event attendees.
- The Fan Fest: An interactive expo that invites guests to engage with their favorite BET shows, talent and their favorite brands through exhibits, demonstrations and giveaways. The Fan Fest includes a BET pavilion; a diverse food experience with soul food and other regional cuisines; Wolfgang Puck stations and a culinary stage; plus a community and exhibitor village.
- After Parties: The hottest outdoor and late-night parties featuring great DJ’s, celebrity appearances and much more.
*EURweb was backstage at the First Annual Balboa Music Festival in Encino, Calif. in September, which billed itself as uniting r&b and neo-soul fans throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Correspondent Kymm Soden-Thornton caught up with SWV’s Leanne “Lelee” Lyons as well as Ralph Tresvant and Bobby Brown of New Edition, who shared the bill with Kelly Price, Keyshia Cole, Cameo, Robin Thicke, Jason Walker, and Gladys Knight.
Below, Lelee talks about how excited she is to be performing again, while Ralph and Bobby talk about their longevity in the game.