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Will.i.am, other musicians to perform in Beijing

By Jill Dougherty, CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent
This image released by the U.S. State Department shows Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with musician will.i.am on Friday.
This image released by the U.S. State Department shows Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with musician will.i.am on Friday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Concert will forge ties between U.S., China
  • Rapper-producer will.i.am will participate
  • Study abroad programs will benefit
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Washington (CNN) -- Will.i.am, the rapper behind "Yes We Can," a music video inspired by Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, will direct a concert in Beijing later this year to benefit cultural and educational ties between the United States and China.

In announcing the concert, the State Department said it will benefit President Obama's "100,000 Strong Initiative" to increase the number and diversify the composition of American students studying in China.

On Friday will.i.am, a member of the Black Eyed Peas, met with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department. The Grammy-award-winning musician highlighted young people with few advantages.

"In order to become responsible global citizens," the State Department quoted him as saying, "young people need to experience the world around them. Kids from underserved communities rarely have the opportunity to study and travel abroad, and we want to change that. We must make sure that American students have the cultural awareness and skills necessary to succeed in a global economy."

The Beijing concert, to be held later this year, will include performances by will.i.am and other U.S. and Chinese pop stars. It is being organized by Americans Promoting Study Abroad, a U.S. non-profit organization that offers full scholarships to public high school students in the United States for language and culture studies in China.

The State Department says funds raised in association with the concert will be used to support and operate study abroad programs in China for underserved American students.

 
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