will.i.am To Deliver ELI Keynote Address

ELI luncheon to take place during GRAMMY Week and honor entertainment attorney John T. Frankenheimer
  • will.i.am
November 22, 2010 -- 11:37 am PST

GRAMMY Foundation Board member and frontman/producer will.i.am of the multi-GRAMMY-winning Black Eyed Peas will deliver the keynote address at the 13th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Luncheon & Scholarship Presentation on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., it was announced today by the GRAMMY Foundation. John T. Frankenheimer, distinguished entertainment attorney, partner and co-chairman of Loeb & Loeb LLP, and chair of the firm's music industry practice group, will be the recipient of the 2011 Service Award at this year's ELI Luncheon.

The Service Award was established in 2006 to recognize contributions by prominent entertainment attorneys that include outstanding service to individuals (pro bono or otherwise); leadership and participation with organizations that help advance the music community; and work to affect positive change that benefits the community overall. Past honorees include David Braun, Jay L. Cooper, Joel A. Katz, Paul G. Marshall, and Al Schlesinger. The ELI Luncheon is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week, a celebration that will culminate with the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

"Over the past 13 years, our GRAMMY Foundation Entertainment Law Initiative has brought together law students and seasoned attorneys and has become a powerful platform for research, critical dialogue and debate in the field of entertainment law," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy, the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. "This year, in particular, we are pleased to have our GRAMMY Foundation Board member and an innovative artist such as will.i.am deliver the luncheon's keynote address. It is the first time we've featured an artist in this role, and we are certain to hear some visionary thoughts. It is also our pleasure to pay tribute to longtime ELI supporter, founding member of the ELI Executive Committee and eminent legal practitioner John Frankenheimer with our Service Award. Both individuals have demonstrated a consistent commitment to advancing and supporting the music community through their work on behalf of our industry."

"The ever-shifting and evolving landscape of the music industry interests me both as an artist and an entrepreneur," said will.i.am. "And as a GRAMMY Foundation Board member, this gives me a chance to participate and support this dimension of our work."

"It's very meaningful for me to be a part of this annual event and I'm honored by the recognition," added Frankenheimer. "Not only am I looking forward to will.i.am's talk, as he is one of our industry's most insightful visionaries, but the issues raised in the winning student papers are always salient topics to our industry."

Best known as the frontman and producer of the multi-platinum award-winning Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am has collaborated on tracks with fellow Black Eyed Pea Fergie, the Game, Kelis, John Legend, Sergio Mendes, Nas, the Pussycat Dolls, Busta Rhymes, Carlos Santana, Justin Timberlake, and U2. His song "Yes We Can" for the 2008 presidential campaign has garnered more than 40 million online views to date, and was honored with the first-ever Emmy Award for New Approaches — Daytime Entertainment. Creating music since 1990, both on his own and with his rap partner apl.de.ap — later also with Taboo — will.i.am has led the Los Angeles-based Black Eyed Peas since their first two albums (Behind The Front in 1998 and Bridging The Gap in 2000).

The addition of Fergie in 2003 catapulted the group to international stardom with hits such as "Where Is The Love" featuring Justin Timberlake, "Shut Up," "Hey Mama," and "Let's Get It Started," the latter which won the group its first GRAMMY Award for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group. The Peas received their second GRAMMY in the same category for "Don't Phunk With My Heart" in 2005. "My Humps" earned them their third GRAMMY for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal in 2006 — their first in the Pop Field. Will.i.am released his first solo album, Songs About Girls, in September 2007 and received a GRAMMY Award in 2008 for "Be OK," by Chrisette Michele featuring will.i.am. The Peas took home three GRAMMYs in 2009 for their album The E.N.D.

Frankenheimer's practice is centered in the entertainment and media industries, with emphasis on both institutional and talent clients. His principal clients include record companies and distributors; multinational and independent music publishers; internationally recognized recording and touring artists; new media and technology companies; financial institutions and investors; television writers, producers and directors; and motion picture writers and producers. He also represents both major and emerging companies in structuring, financing, licensing, and mergers and acquisitions activities with regard to Internet, wireless and new media projects.

A founding member of the ELI Executive Committee and a past Chair, Frankenheimer speaks frequently on entertainment law-related topics and has given presentations at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law; the University of Southern California Gould School of Law; the University of Miami School of Law; Tulane University Law School; the California Copyright Society of the U.S.A.; and the New York State C.P.A./Entertainment Forum, as well as numerous industry-sponsored events and seminars.

ELI has three components: the Legal Writing Competition, a GRAMMY Week ELI Luncheon featuring a prominent keynote speaker, and a Legal Seminar Series. The ELI Legal Writing Competition invites law students to write a 3,000-word paper on a compelling legal topic facing the music industry today. Past award-winning topics have featured issues germane and timely to the music industry, including bootlegging, music sampling and litigation against peer-to-peer network users. The deadline to submit an online application is Jan. 3, 2011, at 11 a.m. PT. For complete contest rules, send an e-mail to eli@grammy.com or visit www.grammyfoundation.com.

The contest culminates with the winning student authors discussing their essays in a question-and-answer presentation at the prestigious ELI luncheon. Past luncheon keynote speakers have included Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group; Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.); Clive Davis, chief creative officer of BMG North America; Timothy J. Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG; and Strauss Zelnick, former president and CEO of BMG Entertainment, among others.

Once again, this year the Foundation added ELI Legal Writing Competition workshops at prominent law schools around the country with the goal of helping students with their essays. ELI also continued its partnership this year with Box.net to allow students to upload their submissions directly over the Internet.

For information on purchasing tables or tickets to the event, please call Loren Fishbein at 310.392.3777, or send an e-mail to loren.fishbein@grammy.com.

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