John To Headline At Muhammad Ali's 70th Birthday Party
01.13.2012 - Official Press Release: Muhammad Ali's 70th Birthday Party: Hometown Celebration and Line-Up of Special Guests
LOUISVILLE, KY (January 13, 2012)… Muhammad Ali, who once said, “Old age is just
a record of one’s whole life,” will be turning a landmark 70 years young on
January 17. In Louisville, on Saturday evening, January 14, Muhammad will be
celebrating seven decades of accomplishments with special guests and
entertainers in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. This private event, a
fundraiser for the Muhammad Ali Center, includes a guest list of friends,
supporters, luminaries, celebrities, and great people who have made a true
difference in his life.
The four hour dinner event will include entertainment and production by David
Foster, 16-time Grammy Award-winning musician; a very special solo performance
John Mellencamp, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, Farm Aid
Founder, painter, actor, and life-long resident of neighboring Southern Indiana;
Australian singer-songwriter Michael Johns, from the seventh season of American
Idol; and PiaToscano, an American singer from the tenth season of American Idol.
Also in attendance will be those who make the news and those who report it: NBC
news icons Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, and Bryant Gumbel; ESPN commentator Michael
Wilbon; American hikers held in Iran: Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer, and Sarah Shourd.
Sports figures will be there, too: Ali's longtime trainer, Angelo Dundee;
Three-time heavyweight boxing champion and Celebrity Apprentice contender,
Lennox Lewis; University of Louisville coaches: Rick Pitino and Charlie Strong;
and University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari;
Artists of many disciplines will be in attendance including: Las Vegas magician
Shimshi; photographers Neil Leifer and Howard Bingham; screen writer Greg
Howard; and Academy Award-winning director Leon Gast.
Finally, Commonwealth of Kentucky Officials will be in Louisville to honor "The
Champ" on this hometown celebration: Governor Steve Beshear; Ltd. Governor Steve
Beshear;Congressman John Yarmuth; and Mayor Greg Fischer.
This momentous birthday celebration kicks off a week-long series of
activities--Seven Days for Seven Decades--at the Muhammad Ali Center, that
celebrate the incredible life and legacy of "The Champ", whose life has inspired
millions of people around the world.
For more information, please visit the Ali Center's web site at
GUEST LIST INCLUDES:
Kentucky Government Officials
Congressman John Yarmuth is the U.S. Representative for Kentucky's 3rd
Governor Steve Beshear is an American politician who is the 61st Governor of the
Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Lieutenant Governor Jerry Edwin Abramson is a Democratic politician who is the
55th and current Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.
Mayor Gregory E. Fischer is a businessman, entrepreneur, community leader, and
current Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky.
David Walter Foster, is a 16-time Grammy Award-winning musician, record
producer, composer, singer, songwriter, and arranger who currently serves as the
Chairman of Verve Music Group.
John Mellencamp is Grammy Award-winning rock singer-songwriter, musician, Farm
Aid Founder, painter and actor. A hallmark of John Mellencamp's musical career,
spanning more than four decades, has been his dedication to the cause of social
justice including his role in founding Farm Aid, his advocacy for working people
and the right to aliving wage for all Americans. Apart from the commercial
success he achieved with the sale of an estimated 40 million albums, Mellencamp
has been honored with 13 Grammy nominations, the Woody Guthrie Award,
Billboard's Century Award, ASCAP Foundation's Champion Award and induction into
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He continues to record, tour and this spring,
Ghost Brother of Darkland County, a musical play that is a collaboration with
Stephen King, will debut at Atlanta's Alliance Theater.
Michael Johns is an Australian singer-songwriter who finished in eighth place on
the seventh season of American Idol.
Pia Ann Rose Toscano an American singer who placed ninth on the tenth season of
Leon Gast is an Academy-Award winning documentary film director, producer,
cinematographer, and editor best known for his documentary, When We Were Kings
Gregory Allen Howard is an American screenwriter best known for writing the
screenplay for Remember The Titans (2000) and Ali (2001).
Howard Bingham is the biographer of Muhammad Ali and a professional
Neil Leifer is a photographer and filmmaker known mainly for his work in the
Time Inc. family of magazines and is generally considered the greatest sports
photographer in history.
Angelo Dundee is an American boxing cornerman best known for his work with
Lennox Claudius Lewis is a retired boxer and the most recent undisputed world
Rick Pitino is an American basketball coach. Since 2001, he has been the head
coach at the University of Louisville.
Charlie R. Strong currently serves as the head coach for the University of
Louisville Cardinals football team.
John Calipari is the men's head basketball coach at the University of Kentucky
Ann Curry is an American television news journalist, photojournalist, and a
co-anchor on NBC's morning television program The Today Show.
Matthew Todd "Matt" Lauer is an American television journalist best known as a
co-anchor of NBC's The Today Show.
Bryant Charles Gumbel is an American television journalist and sportscaster, and
currently hosts Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO.
Michael Ray Wilbon is a former sportswriter and columnist for the Washington
Post and current ESPN commentator. He serves as an analyst for ESPN and co-hosts
Pardon the Interruption on ESPN with former Post writer Tony Kornheiser, and has
been doing so since 2001.
American Hikers in Iran
On July 31, 2009, three Americans, Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal
were taken into custody by Iranian border guards for allegedly crossing into
Iran while hiking near the Iranian border in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Shane Bauer, who grew up both in Onamia, Minnesota and San Leandro, California,
is a freelance photojournalist and journalist who has worked for Pacifica News
Service, Mother Jones,and The Nation.
Sarah Shourd, who grew up in Los Angeles, California, worked in education and
social justice in Damascus, Syria, where she provided educational opportunities
to refugees from the war in Iraq and taught English.
Joshua Fattal, who grew up in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, is an environmentalist
Shimshi is currently the resident magician at the Wynn│Encore Las Vegas, and
also performs in “Amazed,” a daily show, at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.
The Muhammad Ali Center is a 501(c)3 cultural attraction and international
education center that is inspired by the ideals of Muhammad Ali. Featuring an
award-winning visitor experience, educational and public programming, and global
initiatives, the Ali Center reaches beyond its physical walls to fulfill its
mission: To preserve and share the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali, to promote
respect, hope and understanding, and to inspire adults and children everywhere
to be as great as they can be. For more information, please call (502) 584-9254