Mary J. Blige to open GM Style at 2008 Detroit Auto Show
Six-time Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige, known as the "Queen of R&B," will perform in GM Style, a car-and-star-studded affair on the Detroit riverfront, on Saturday, Jan. 12, leading up to the 2008 North American International Auto Show.
Similar to last year’s inaugural GM Style event, the invitation-only affair will feature the world debut of GM global concept and production cars, as well as favorites revealed during 2007, including the Chevrolet Beat and Saturn Astra Tuner. All the GM Style showcase vehicles will be introduced - fashion runway style - to live music. More cars and talent will be announced in the coming weeks.
Blige has sold 40 million recordings since the release of her debut "What’s the 411?" in 1991; her eighth album, "Growing Pains," hits stores on Dec. 18. A native of Yonkers, N.Y., she was "discovered" in 1988 when she recorded an impromptu cover of Detroiter Anita Baker’s "Rapture" at a recording booth in a local shopping mall. In addition to her six Grammys, she has earned another 23 nominations.
"We’re thrilled that Ms. Blige will join our GM Style celebration, because she embodies the new spirit behind our cars and trucks," said Ed Welburn, GM vice president, Global Design. "The combination of music and fashion is a natural fit with this event: Travel the world and tell people you’re a designer from Detroit, and chances are they’ll want to talk about great cars and great music."
Musical stars won’t command all of the attention at GM Style, though. The Chevrolet Beat, conceived to evoke the mood of a speedy micro import tuner, comes to Detroit for the first time since its introduction last spring. The Beat was so popular among nearly 2 million online voters that it inspired a production car GM will build for markets outside of the U.S.
The Saturn Astra Tuner concept, revealed recently at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, comes to Detroit, too, and applies some of the latest bolt-on performance and appearance components - including eye-catching 19-inch wheels - to show what’s possible with Saturn’s all-new, European-bred subcompact.
The GM Style party will be held in a football field-size, climate-controlled pavilion on the Detroit River, just east of GM’s Global Headquarters at the Renaissance Center. In addition to kicking off the world’s largest auto show, which opens to the media the following day, GM Style kicks off a series of activities, called GMnext, leading up to the start of GM’s next 100 years. The corporation turns 100 on Sept. 16, 2008.
At the inaugural extravaganza last January, more than 1,200 media and invited guests filled the pavilion to see 17 global concepts and production vehicles accompanied by Hollywood stars such as Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson, actor Christian Slater and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. The event was covered by national and international media and simulcast on gm.com.
"It was a fantastic stage for us to showcase our global design capabilities and a festive way to welcome media and guests to our global headquarters in Detroit," said Welburn. "The event created a lot of enthusiasm and excitement for the great vehicles we introduced in 2007, and I expect that the momentum will continue through 2008 as we celebrate GM’s second century."