Pharrell Williams has been tapped to kick off the latest installment of “American Express Unstaged” live-streaming concert series, a partnership with Vevo and YouTube. Williams will play a special show at New York’s Apollo Theater on June 3 that will stream live at amexunstaged.com at 9:00 p.m. EST/6:00 p.m. PST, with a production directed by Spike Lee. The live-stream will be free, but tickets for the concert itself were made available starting Friday, May 23, at Ticketmaster.com.
Williams’ will be the 14th performer to play the “Unstaged” series, following previous shows with artists ranging from St. Vincent and Diane Von Furstenberg to Vampire Weekend and Steve Buscemi to Jack White and Gary Oldman. Lee is the first director to helm a second installment of “Unstaged,” having previously teamed with John Legend & The Roots in 2010.
Though Williams has had a 20-plus career on the charts as a producer, songwriter and vocalist, he’s only recently been honing his chops as a solo live performer. Since his star-studded sets at Coachella, Williams has performed a private concert for Sprint’s HTC One (M8) phone, signed up for a series of dates supporting Bruno Mars on his Moonshine Jungle arena tour this summer and announced his first headline arena gigs in Europe. He also currently holds the title for the biggest song of 2014 (thus far) with “Happy,” which spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100. His debut solo album “G I R L,” also debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Billbaord 200, and has spent the majority of its subsequent 11 weeks hovering around the top 10 (it drops from No. 6 to No. 13 on the chart week ending May 31).
RadicalMedia will produce Williams’ “Unstaged” performance on behalf of longtime client American Express, and was also the production force behind the singer’s Sprint booking. On June 4, the day after “Unstaged,” Radical will also produce Jennifer Lopez’s first concert in the Bronx, a free homecoming show presented by State Farm’s Neighborhood Sessions.