N.E.R.D. To Perform At AT&T Block Party At The NCAA @ Men’s Final Four During The Big Dance

Jesse McCartney Also to Perform as Part of Three Days of Food,
Fun and FREE Concerts

DETROIT, March 24, 2009 — Funk rock trendsetters N.E.R.D. will headline the AT&T Block Party on Friday, April 3, the first of three days of free music concerts at The Big Dance, as part of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend in Detroit.

Blending hip hop, R&B, soul, and alternative rock to produce two top 10 albums in the U.S., N.E.R.D. is the brainchild of legendary producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. As the record production duo The Neptunes, Williams and Hugo have redefined pop and hip hop music over the last decade, winning two Grammys for their work with Justin Timberlake and collaborating with acts like Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, and Nelly.

Today’s announcement makes complete the headline entertainment lineup for the three days of The Big Dance, which starts on Friday, April 3 and runs through Sunday, April 5 at the Detroit Riverfront (just east of the Renaissance Center).

The AT&T Block Party starts at 11 a.m. and wraps up at 10:30 p.m. on April 3.

In addition, pop star and singer/songwriter Jesse McCartney will perform on the AT&T Block Party stage. An accomplished songwriter, McCartney also has recorded three Billboard 200 top 15 albums since exploding on the pop scene with his platinum debut album Beautiful Soul in 2004. Detroit fans will remember him best from his performance of his top 10 hit “Leavin’” at halftime of the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving game on November 27, 2008.

“The addition of AT&T’s performers rounds out an outstanding weekend of music and entertainment for all ages at The Big Dance,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA senior vice president for basketball and business strategies. “The Big Dance features some of the biggest names in music. We’re excited to have an event that offers music fans across all genres a wonderful opportunity to see established stars in concert free of charge.”

In addition to national music, The Big Dance will feature some of Detroit’s best local bands performing on two stages throughout the three days.

Local Band Schedule for The AT&T Block Party (all times subject to change):
(Friday, April 3 from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.)

AT&T Local Stage
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Burgandy Soul Project
featuring CEL & Michael Galvan (Neo Soul)
1-2 p.m. Doc Holiday (Neo Soul)
2:30-3:30 p.m. The McKinney Zone (Jazz)
4-5 p.m. Flophouse (Funk/rock/R&B)
5:30-6:30 p.m. Stellar Drive (Rock)
7-8 p.m. The Deadstring Brothers (Alt Rock/Americana)
8:30-10 p.m. Twistin’ Tarantulas (Rock-a-billy)

vitaminwater® revive Stage
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Band B (Rock)
1-2 p.m. Pato Margenta (Pop)
2:30-3:30 p.m. Lucky Brown (Reggae/Funk)
4-5 p.m. Sky Covington (Jazz/neo soul/blues)
5:30-6:30 p.m. Four Finger Five (Rock/Funk;Jazz)
7-8 p.m. Paxahau (DJs)
8:30-10 p.m. Rev. RightTime (Funk/Rock)

Also at The Big Dance (all times subject to change):

Big Dance Saturday (Saturday, April 4 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
Headlined by Pussy Cat Dolls and also featuring Gavin DeGraw.

Featured acts:
• The Pussycat Dolls – Their first album PCD achieved worldwide success, debuting at No. 5 on the U.S Billboard 200 Chart, and produced the No. 1 hit “Don’t Cha” and Grammy-nominated “Stickwitu.” The Dolls’ 2008 follow up, Doll Domination, included hits “When I Grow Up” and “I Hate This Part.”
• Gavin DeGraw – In a few short years, this musician has become one of today’s premier singer-songwriters. He’s done it the old-fashioned way – on the merits of his creative abilities, perseverance and a healthy, homegrown perspective. He has established himself as a magnetic voice in popular music and is best known for hit songs, “Chariot,” “In Love With a Girl,” “Follow Through,” and “I Don’t Want to Be.”

Local Band Schedule for Big Dance Saturday (Saturday, April 4 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.) (all times subject to change):

AT&T Local Stage
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. JStokes (Neo Soul)
1-2:30 p.m. Tim Diaz (Alt Rock/Country)
3-4 p.m. Tumbao Bravo! (Latin Jazz)
4:30- 5:30 p.m. Stewart Francke (Pop)
6-7:30 p.m. Larry Lee & The Back in the Day Band (R&B)

vitaminwater® revive Stage
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Inside Outlaws Revolver featuring Ty Stone, Don Dupree, Matt Dmits, and Brandon Calhoon (Country)
1-2:30 p.m. Third Coast Kings (Soul)
3-4 p.m. The Robin Horlock Band (Rock/pop)
4:30-5:30 p.m. Great Divide (R&B)
6-7:30 p.m. HotSauce (R&B/Funk)

My Coke Festâ„¢ (Sunday, April 5, 11 a.m. to 9:15 p.m.)
Emceed by Ryan Seacrest, My Coke Fest will culminate with headliner and popular music sensation, Fergie, who will showcase her singular blend of pop, hip hop, and R&B. First gaining musical fame as vocalist for the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie’s solo debut album, The Dutchess, produced five top 5 singles (two of which, “London Bridge” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” went to No. 1) making her just the seventh female artist to achieve that feat. As part of the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie has contributed to three Grammy Award winning songs, including “Let’s Get it Started.”

Also featured:
• Staind – Discovered a decade ago by Limp Bizkit lead singer Fred Durst, these heavy metal rock stars have sold more than 15 million records over the past nine years. Smash hits like “It’s Been a While,” “Fade,” and “Outside” have garnered the band regular radio play and made them a popular live performing group.
• Gym Class Heroes – The 2007 MTV Music Video Awards winner for Best New Artist, this band mixes elements of rap, rock, R&B, and funk with socially conscious lyrics. Their hit song, “Cupid’s Chokehold,” peaked at No. 4 on the charts.
• Janelle Monáe – Recently signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ record label, her debut album was released in January. The album’s first single, “Many Moons,” was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award in the urban/alternative category.
• Parachute – An up-and-coming alternative rock band.

Local Band Schedule for My Coke Festâ„¢ (Sunday, April 5, 11 a.m. to 9:15 p.m.) (all times subject to change):

AT&T Local Stage
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Robin Moore & The NorthStars (Country)
12:30-1:30 p.m. Persuasion (R&B,/Rock)
2-3 p.m. The Mickeys (Country/Bluegrass)
3:30-4:30 p.m. Nuroksol (Rock)
5-6 p.m. Ultra Violet Hippopotamus (Jazz/Funk/Rock)
6:30-8 p.m. Impact 7 (Motown)

vitaminwater® revive Stage
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Chris Ams (Soul)
12:30-1:30 p.m. Whitey Morgan & The 78’s (Country)
2-3 p.m. Hard Line Drive (Bluegrass)
3:30-4:30 p.m. Macpodz (Funk/R&B/Rock)
5-6 p.m. The Muggs (Rock)
6:30-8 p.m. Paxahau (DJs)

Many other exciting events are scheduled to take place throughout the weekend – details can be found at NCAA.com/finalfour.

About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletics opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA Championships in Division I, II and III sports. Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions—AT&T, Coca-Cola and Pontiac—and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners—Enterprise, The Hartford, Hershey’s, Lowe’s, Sheraton and State Farm.
About the 2009 NCAA® Men’s Final Four®

The 2009 NCAA® Men’s Final Four® will take place at Ford Field in Detroit April 4 & 6. The Final Four brings together the semifinalists of the single elimination tournament of the top 65 NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams in the country. The event is expected to create an economic impact of $30 million to $50 million and attract more than 30,000 visitors to Detroit. For information, visit www.NCAA.com/finalfour or call the Detroit Local Organizing Committee at 313-262-2900.
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