Advertising Week 2010 Kicked off in NYC on September 27 and Billboard was there to present Billboard Live! which hosted Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson from the Roots, John Legend, director Spike Lee, American Express’ Courtney Kelso and Momentum’s Joe Killian. The panel discussed American Express' “Unstaged” series presented in partnership with VEVO and YouTube; the new “Wake Up!” album; and the benefits of artists partnering with big brands. PHOTOS: ELIZABETH HURST



Pictured here before the panel are (from left) Lisa Ryan Howard, publisher of Billboard Magazine; Joe Killian, senior VP of Momentum; Courtney Kelso, VP of American Express; director Spike Lee; Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson; John Legend; and Bill Werde, editorial director of Billboard Magazine.



Audience members flip through Billboard waiting for the panel to begin.



Matt Scheckner, executive director of Advertising Week, gives the opening remarks for the Billboard Live! Panel.



The panelists discussed the new American Express “Unstaged” Concert Series for which John Legend and the Roots gave a special performance at Terminal 5 on September 23. Filmmaker Spike Lee directed the event, which is one of five live-stream concerts AmEx has planned for the year. Lee spoke about his own musical background and how it influenced how he directed this live event. Also on the table was the new collaborative album from Legend and The Roots entitled “Wake Up!”, which was released on September 21. Of the record, Legend said that because it wasn’t a typical radio album they needed to think outside of the box when it came to marketing, which is why this partnership with AmEx was so perfect; mutually beneficial to brand and artist. When a question came from the audience regarding artists “selling out” to brands, ?uestlove responded by saying that in this new age of music, Brands have replaced the record labels. No selling out here – just selling. Pictured here are the panel (from left) - Kelso; Legend; Thompson; Lee; Killian; and Werde.


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