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JOHN LEGEND SET FOR TITLE ROLE IN NBC’S ‘JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE IN CONCERT!’ FROM BROOKLYN, N.Y.

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Oscar, Golden Globe, Tony and 10-time Grammy Award winner John Legend has been cast as Jesus Christ in NBC’s special event “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,” to be aired Easter Sunday, April 1. NBC continues to innovate its live musical productions with the staging of this iconic rock opera in front of a large audience at the Marcy Armory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y.

“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!” will be executive produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Joining the creative team also as executive producers are John Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius. Rock icon Alice Cooper was previously announced for the role of King Herod and the production will be helmed by esteemed British theatre director David Leveaux.

“We’re all overjoyed to have world-class musical artist and producer John Legend starring as Jesus,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “This score demands a singer with an amazing range and an actor with great depth, and there isn’t anyone better to bring this story to a new audience. His casting is also groundbreaking as the traditional image of Christ will be seen in a new way.”

“John Legend is a superstar,” said Tim Rice, lyricist of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” “As a performer, his voice is infectious and effortless. As an actor, he is believable and honest. I’m thrilled he will be able to share his portrayal of Jesus with the world.” “I’m thrilled to join the cast of this production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,’” Legend said. “It’s such a powerful, meaningful musical and I’m humbled to be part of this performance. We’ve already formed an incredible team, and, as we finish casting, I’m certain we will put together some of the greatest talents around to do this work justice.”

A highly accomplished musician, concert performer, songwriter, actor, and music and film producer, Legend is one of the most versatile and talented artists in entertainment today. In 2015, he, along with Common, won the Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy for their song “Glory” from the film “Selma,” which chronicled the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala. Legend, who has released five studio albums, began his impressive Grammy run in 2006 when he won Best New Artist for his debut release “Get Lifted,” which captured Best R&B Album. “Get Lifted,” along with each of his next three albums – “Once Again,” “Evolver” and “Love in the Future” – reached the Top 5 in album sales on the Billboard charts and achieved gold status. As a film producer, Legend worked with Platt on the 2016 film sensation “La La Land,” in which he also appeared and Platt produced. Legend previously collaborated with Zadan and Meron when the pair produced the 2015 Oscar telecast in which Legend performed “Glory” with Common. In addition to “La La Land,” Legend has acted in several TV and film productions, including “Underground,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Soul Men.” On Broadway, Legend won a Tony Award earlier this year as a producer of August Wilson’s “Jitney,” which won for Best Revival of a Play. He has also written songs for the Broadway run of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” which recently opened to strong reviews.

The “Jesus Christ Superstar” album hit #1 on the Billboard charts and made its way to the stage in 1971. It is based on the final week of Jesus’ life. The 1971 musical opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway and starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas. It was nominated for five Tonys, including Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Vereen. Lloyd Webber won a Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Composer. Since then, the musical has been considered a classic and has become a staple of theatre and music organizations throughout the world. It has been performed in nearly 20 countries and translated into 18 different languages. There have been many revivals of “Jesus Christ Superstar” over the 46 years since its debut, including 2000 and 2012 Broadway versions that each earned a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical. The 1973 film was directed by Oscar winner Norman Jewison and starred Ted Neeley. “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!” will be produced by Universal Television, The Really Useful Group, Marc Platt Productions and Zadan/Meron Productions.

Gospel

BET NETWORKS ANNOUNCES AUDITION PROCESS FOR UPCOMING SEASON 10 RETURN OF HIT SERIES “SUNDAY BEST”

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KIRK FRANKLIN RETURNS AS HOST & MENTOR, ALONG WITH JUDGES ERICA CAMPBELL, JONATHAN MCREYNOLDS AND KELLY PRICE

Kelly Price, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Jonathan McReynolds, Erica Campbell and Kelly Price during a season 9 episode of “Sunday Best” on BET
(NEW YORK, NY) – February 7, 2020 – Returning to BET Network’s for season 10 is America’s most inspirational singing competition, “Sunday Best.” The well-established gospel show welcomes back Grammy Award®-winning music legend Kirk Franklin as host. Returning for the second consecutive year as judges are gospel songstress and host of “Get Up Mornings,” Erica Campbell, and Grammy-Award® nominated artists Kelly Price and Jonathan McReynolds.
Season 10 open call auditions will be held Saturday, February 15th in Atlanta, GA at The House of Hope (4650 Flat Shoals Parkway, Decatur, GA 30034; registration 6am-11am). Atlanta auditions will be filmed for television. Aspiring contestants should be age 18+ and should prepare to sing a song from the list below:
1. Amazing Grace
2. Blessed Assurance
3. Have Thine Own Way, Lord
4. His Eye is On The Sparrow
5. I Need Thee Every Hour
6. I Surrender All
7. It Is Well With My Soul
8. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
9. Love Lifted Me10. Mary, Don’t You Weep
11. Nothing But the Blood of Jesus
12. O Come, All Ye Faithful (O Come Let Us Adore Him)
13. Oh, How I Love Jesus
14. Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
15. Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
16. What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Aspiring contestants from around the country are encouraged to submit their audition online and get additional audition information at BET.com/SundayBest. The final day for online submissions is February 10, 2020, at 5:00 pm EST.
Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment (BET Awards, The New Edition Story), and Dionne Harmon (The Bobby Brown Story, Hip Hop Squares) serve as executive producers of season ten of Sunday Best along with executive producer and showrunner Jeannae Rouzan-Clay (Dear Mama, Black Girls Rock!), and Torrence Glenn (Celebration Of Gospel, Trumpet Awards) is co-executive producer. 
For updates and more information about “Sunday Best”, please visit BET.com/SundayBest. Join the conversation on social media by logging on to our social media platforms using the hashtag: #BETSundayBest.
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