Will.i.am to Headline Beijing Education Concert
Black Eyed Peas' singer will.i.am and bandmate apl.de.ap, John Legend and the Bucky Johnson band at a Beijing concert Dec. 17 designed to encourage study abroad programs in China, the musicians announced Monday in Los Angeles.
The concert, which supports the U.S. State Department's 100,000 Strong Initiative to send that many American students to study in China, may see an appearance by martial arts actor and sometime-singer Jackie Chan, whose Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation Beijing is co-organizing the show. Monday's announcement mentioned the participation of "other prominent Chinese and U.S. artists," but only named the Peas' members, Legend and Bucky Johnson. No venue was specified, although one of Beijing's former Olympic venues could play host. Tickets were not on sale in Beijing as of Tuesday afternoon local time. The Black Eyed Peas have performed as a unit twice previously in the Chinese capital city.
Charity concerts have a rocky history in Beijing when not organized directly by the Chinese government. The Show of Peace concert, which was to feature Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Aerosmith's Joe Perry, was first postponed from April 2010 and then canceled. Other recent canceled Beijing concerts by major artists include a March 2009 show by Oasis, due to a prior Noel Gallagher appearance at a pro-Tibetan independence gig, and an Oct. 2008 performance by Linkin Park, due to injury to singer Chester Bennington.
In Beijing, the concert is being co-organized by Americans Promoting Study Abroad, which provides scholarships to inner city students. It is supported by both the U.S. State Department and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.