will.i.am and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pose for photos before annual pre-Grammy charity concert Thursday night at Avalon Hollywood. (Erica Browne/Living Out Loud LA)
Talk about putting on a show.
will.i.am outdid himself last night when he held his third annual TRANS4M concert benefiting the i.am.angel Foundation at Avalon nightclub in Hollywood. Bringing down the house with musical guest after musical guest, he was able to raise about $2.5 million dollars.
will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas started the i.am.angel Foundation in 2009 to initially “TRANS4M lives through education, inspiration and opportunity.” Helping students in need of scholarships for college, this foundation provided assistance. Seeing that there was such a strong lack in other areas as well, he expanded it to include more programs like i.am.college Track, and i.am.home.
The TRANS4M benefit concert was a part of a larger mission to transform and give support to his hometown of Boyle Heights. To kick the evening off, actress Rosie Perez spoke and introduced Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who also has roots in Boyle Heights. Roosevelt High School Principals Randy Romero and Bruce Bivins spoke to the changes being implemented by the efforts of will.i.am and how the kids are really getting a shot at life.
The present guests performed their hearts out on stage. It was a lineup like no other with music ranging from hip hop’s Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick to the soulful diva Chaka Khan. Biz Markie broke it down when he busted out “Just A Friend” to Busta Rhymes delivering “Pass The Courvoisier.” The audience went wild and jumped and bopped their heads in unison. Bel Biv Devoe brought it old school with their anthem “Poison” and even busted out their classic dance moves. These men still have it and looked great doing it.
Let’s not forget about Sergio Mendez with his lovely Brazilian ladies dancing and singing on stage. will.i.am and Taboo joined him later to sing and rap on their famous song “Mas Que Nada” together. Scarface did his thing and even broke out with some Led Zeppelin on the electric guitar.
New artists Cody Wide, Leah McFall and We Are The Future started the show as up and comers, which was a great way to showcase new talent and kick off the musical portion of the night.
Seeing that this is such a fun way to raise money and have an exciting night, TRANS4M is expected continue to grow and thrive. TRANS4M plans to expand and head to Detroit to help with the same initiatives.
will.i.am is a man with a plan.