(CelebrityAcccess mediaWire) —
Will Smith and Ludacris will headline MTV base 100th Live!, an exclusive concert to celebrate the launch of MTV base, MTV's first pan-African music channel and MTV Networks' 100th channel worldwide. African artists, Lebo Mathosa, Mandoza and Seun Kuti will also perform at the open-air concert on April 20 in Johannesburg, South Africa, playing to an audience of up to 10,000 fans. Highlights of the show will subsequently air on MTV channels around the world in May 2005.
"It's such a thrill to hit the 100th channel milestone, especially with a launch in Africa," said Tom Freston, co-president and Co-COO of Viacom Inc. "With the launch of MTV base, the MTV Networks flag has been planted in every region of the world, and positions us to continue aggressive expansion of MTVN brands internationally — an important part of Viacom's long-term growth."
"Combining the celebration of MTV Networks' 1st local African channel with our 100th channel worldwide says everything about the importance of Africa to our global portfolio," said Judy McGrath, chairman and CEO, MTV Networks. "And, with Will Smith, Ludacris and such incredible talent from all across Africa, this event will be the ultimate celebration of Africa's rich mix of music and culture which you will see on MTV base all the time."
"MTV base 100th Live! delivers on MTV base's launch promise to showcase African music and artists to a global audience," said Alex Okosi, vice president and General Manager, MTV Networks Africa. By bringing together the hottest established and emerging artists in Africa today, MTV base 100th Live! provides the perfect platform to spotlight African music and artists alongside the cream of international talent!"
MTV base 100th Live! is sponsored by Nokia SA as part of a major integrated marketing deal designed to build connections between Nokia and African youth. The multi-pronged marketing campaign encompasses on-air and on-the-ground sponsorship of MTV base Live!, a pan-African talent showcase tour with an exclusive party backdrop. Nokia is among the first brands to associate with the MTV base brand as part of its on-going commitment to connecting youth in Africa through entertainment. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen