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Will Smith and Ludacris to Headline MTV 100th Chan


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Multi-talented actor, composer, producer and performer, Will Smith, and Grammy Award-winning rap star Ludacris are to headline at MTV base 100th LIVE!, an exclusive concert to celebrate the launch of MTV base, MTV's first pan-African music channel and MTV Networks' 100th channel worldwide.

Talented African artists, Lebo Mathosa, Mandoza and Seun Kuti will also perform at the open-air concert on 20 April 2005 in Johannesburg, South Africa, playing to an audience of up to 10,000 fans.

"It's such a thrill to hit the 100th channel milestone, especially with a launch in Africa," said Tom Freston, Co-President and Co-COO of Viacom Inc. "With the launch of MTV base, the MTV Networks flag has been planted in every region of the world, and positions us to continue aggressive expansion of MTVN brands internationally, an important part of Viacom's long-term growth."

"Combining the celebration of MTV Networks' 1st local African channel with our 100th channel worldwide says everything about the importance of Africa to our global portfolio," said Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO, MTV Networks. "And, with Will Smith, Ludacris and such incredible talent from all across Africa, this event will be the ultimate celebration of Africa's rich mix of music and culture which you will see on MTV base all the time."

Fresh from box office success in rom-com "Hitch", CGI family blockbuster, "Shark's tale" and futuristic sci-fi thriller, "'I, Robot", Will Smith makes a welcome return to his music roots, performing hits from throughout his long career, including tracks from his Greatest Hits album, and his eagerly awaited new fourth album "Lost and Found."

Described by Smith as a departure from his previous work, "Lost and Found" is an intensely personal work which shows a more complex, tougher side to the former "Fresh Prince", characterized by red-hot single "Switch" and collaborations with longtime partner Jazzy Jeff, Mary J. Blige, Robin Thicke, Timbaland and Snoop Dogg.

Atlanta-based Ludacris, otherwise known as Chris Bridges is a 16-year veteran of the U.S. hip hop scene, joining his first hip hop outfit at just 12 years old. A lifelong love of music took Ludacris from his early days as an Atlanta radio DJ to signing by influential Def Jam records.

Following his initial breakthrough track "What's Your Fantasy", Ludacris went on to achieve multi-platinum sales success, with more than 10 million albums sold to date and working along the way with Missy Elliott, Usher, Snoop, 50 Cent, Outkast and Jermaine Dupri.

Courting controversy along the way for his raw lyrics and explosive stage performance, Ludacris' platinum-selling album, "Red Light District" is still riding high in the Billboard charts after 14 weeks. Ludacris is also hitting the big screen and will be starring and releasing two major films this year "Crash" in May and "Hustle and Flow" in July. He is also the Co-CEO of the Disturbing the Peace label that has a joint venture deal with Def Jam.

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