Learning Abroad

Will.i.am will host a star-studded concert in Beijing Dec. 17 in support of the U.S. government’s “100,000 Strong” initiative promoting educational exchange with China.

The Black Eyed Peas leader and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made the announcement Nov. 22 at the Mendez Learning Center.

Los Angeles joins Seattle and Washington, D.C., as partner cities for the initiative, which aims to increase the number of Americans studying in China over the next four years.

Will.i.am originally gave his support to the project last July alongside U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This time, alongside Villaraisgosa, he said, “The opportunity to study abroad in China would be a dream realized for so many young people who may not otherwise have had the chance to see what else the world has to offer.”’

The concert, with the help of corporate sponsors, will raise money to eventually send these students to China.

The Black Eyed Peas as a group is not scheduled to appear, but will.i.am’s partner in the band, apl.de.ap, will. Also on hand will be the Bucky Johnson Band and John Legend. Chinese artists are expected to perform as well.

Will.i.am also attended the Mnet Asian Music Awards, which took place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Nov. 29, along with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Japanese diva Kumi Koda, Chinese pop stars Jane Zhang and Liang Ying, classical pianist Lang Lang, Singapore’s own Richard Lee, and a host of K-pop artists including Super Junior, SNSD and 2NE1.

Photo: AP Photo
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at the 2011 Mnet Asian Music Awards in Singapore.

Though the Mnet Awards are mainly a Korean phenomenon, in recent years the organizers have been trying to make it an all-Asia happening, and this year’s ceremony was broadcast on 13 different networks worldwide.