John Legend, B.o.B and Ne-Yo also helped bring the epic NBA weeekend to an close in Houston.
Last night (Feb. 17), NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, Tx came to an end. The Western conference team beat the East side team 143-138 and Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul took home Most Valuable Player honors. For some, the main attraction was the big game itself. But for the rest of us, the draw was the superstar musicians who performed throughout the day, setting the tone for what turned out to be a great game.
Things began with the Sprint Pregame Show, which featured Ludacris and Ke$ha, and ended with Alicia Keys lighting up the halftime show. Here’s our recap of the music that soundtracked NBA’s All-Star Sunday:
SPRINT PRE-GAME CONCERT: Ke$ha, Luda and B.o.B Warm It Up
Georgia native B.o.B ran through his medley of high-energy hits, beginning with "Magic" and "Nothin' on You" from his debut album 'B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” then closed with his 2012 single "So Good."
B.o.B. wasn’t the only southern gent on the bill. Atlanta rapper Ludacris joined in on the fun with his hits "Stand Up" and “How Low.” Houston Rockets dancers joined Luda’ for a bit as he tore through his classics inn a white jersey that read “Filthy.” Luda had to keep it clean when he finished with his volatile smash “Move," but the audience had no problem screaming out "Bitch!" at the appropiate time.
Rocking a a black-and-red unitard and black knee-high boots over fishnet pantyhose, Ke$ha capped off the Pre-Game sets, opening with her 2010 Hot 100 chart-topper “We R Who We R” and running through her hits "Tik Tok" and recent smash "Die Young," making the event feel like the true party it was.
NBA ALL-STAR GAME: Alicia, Ne-Yo and John Legend Drive It Home
Kicking off the main event was John Legend’s a cappella take on “The Star Spangled Banner.” Legend's excellent rendition began low, showing off his vocal range before soaring to the song's conclusion. The National Anthem is famously one of the toughest songs for any singer to perform (just ask Beyonce), but Legend made it look like a walk in the park.
R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo had a great job at the game -- to keep the crowd entertained as he introducd the East and West players. To honore the East Side, he opened with “Let’s Go,” his Eurodance collaboration with DJ Calvin Harris, splicing in a bit of Janet Jackson’s “I Get So Lonely" to add even more flavor to the cut.When “Let’s Go” wrapped, East players like the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade and LeBron James stepped onto the stage, ready to go to work. To rep the West, Ne-Yo returned to perform his dance single "Let Me Love You" from his “R.E.D.” album. The East got the better of the two songs -- a pleading love track isn't exactly the best pre-game jam -- but the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard still seemed poised for a big game when they arrived on stage.
Halftime belonged to yet another R&B headliner, Alicia Keys. There’s no question that the songstress is a vocal powerhouse, but the All-Star Weekend’s marquee performer has never been known to put on an epic stage show -- and Sunday night's performance proved no different.
Keys opened her set at the piano singing “Empire State of Mind,” her ode to her hometown of New York City. She then left the ivories to break into a reggae rendition of her recent single “Girl on Fire.” The diva followed her hit with her 2007 mega-smash “No One,” and concluded with another recent cut, “New Day.” The set's accompanying choreography, which featured some prancing and high-stepping with backup dancers, was alright—but certainly not on the level of the Super Bowl's recent halftime spectacle. Beyonce was in the building next to husband Jay-Z dancing in place while watching Alicia perform. That’s got to say something -- assuming she wasn’t just trying to be nice.
- Pop-Shop