Akon fundraising concert to benefit Red Cross

Akon's Freedom Tour '09 is produced by ALV Events International, OctoArts Entertainment, Tiffany Chocolates and Regal Multimedia Inc., and is presented by HUMAN, Calayan Surgicentre, AMA University, ABS-CBN, in cooperation with Crowne Plaza, PCSO, San Miguel Strong Ice, Magnolia Pure Water and SMART. Media partners include Magic 89.9, Wave 89.1, RX 93.1, 103.5 MaxFM, and MYX Music Channel.


After the long wait, Akon's Freedom Tour '09 Manila concert finally pushes through at the Araneta Coliseum this coming Friday, October 23, with Billy Crawford as special guest.

The Senegalese-American hiphop-R&B superstar recently voiced his sympathy for the victims of the typhoons, and volunteered to share part of his concert proceeds to the Philippine National Red Cross.

Treading the noble path might seem ironic for an artist who's wrestled with issues of notoriety in his checkered past, but just like his latest album—Akon's life now resonates with that unmistakable ring of freedom.

"The key is to take it from the dark side and into the light," explains the singer of his third album, Freedom, released late last year. "I'm not gonna be miserable, preachy and unhappy forever. Of course, when you first come out from doing time, you're excited about being free and want to teach everybody what you've learned."

Akon gives the rationale behind the name of his record label, Konvict Entertainment, and reproves quite straightforwardly the people's wrong perception about him.

He says, "I always use the name as a reminder of where I don't want to be. It was always for a positive purpose, but some people were falsely translating my message. Just because you presume something a certain way doesn't mean it's necessarily that way. You gotta take the time and get fully educated about it, then judge for yourself. I know people have preconceived notions about me. I'm not who they think I am."

On Freedom, the titular track, African melodies and marching drums build up in a brooding anthem that is both glorious and exultant. The autobiographical track is arguably the singer's most powerful statement to date, as the song crescendos—church-like—to its rousing conclusion.

Experience the ultimate Freedom with Akon this coming Friday at the Big Dome. Showtime is 8:00 P.M.

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For ticket inquiries, call TicketNet (911-5555). Exclusive VIP tickets are also available at ALV Events International (633-98-25 to 27). Red Cross booths will also be set up near the gate to accept donations in cash or kind.


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