Carly Rae Jepsen.
Pop-vocal sensation The Wanted, chart-topping singer Carly Rae Jepsen, special guest performer Owl City, teen quartet Mindless Behavior, X-Factor star Rachel Crow, special celebrity chair umpire Matthew Morrison, Olympic Gold Medalist Missy Franklin and New York Rangers center Brad Richards will team up with current world #1 Roger Federer, Olympic gold medalist and tennis icon Serena Williams, reigning US Open Champion Novak Djokovic, Former US Open Champion Andy Roddick, three-time US Open Champion Kim Clijsters, Mardy Fish, Ryan Harrison, Christina McHale and Sloane Stephens at the 17th Annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Presented by Hess Saturday, August 25 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., from 9:30 a.m. – 4p.m. Hosted by AAKD alumnus Jordin Sparks and TV personality Quddus, the popular full-day tennis and music festival for children and adults alike features interactive games, musical entertainment and tennis activities. Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Presented by Hess will kick off the 2012 US Open, which runs from August 27 – September 9.
From 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., kids and their families can enjoy an exciting schedule of free tennis games, live music and attractions taking place throughout the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Inside Arthur Ashe Stadium from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., the live tennis and music show will feature fun exhibition matches and skills competitions with Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters, Mardy Fish, Ryan Harrison and other top athletes and celebrities including Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Missy Franklin and New York Rangers star Brad Richards, with musical performances by The Wanted, Carly Rae Jepsen, Owl City, Mindless Behavior and Rachel Crow.
Stadium show tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster (1-866-OPEN-TIX), usopen.org and at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office. American Express is the official card of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. General admission promenade tickets cost $10 and loge tickets are $20. Arthur Ashe Kids' Day will be broadcast nationally by CBS on Sunday, August 26, from 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m (ET). Kids 12-and-under with stadium show tickets will receive a free Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day hat from the USTA and Hess on a first-come, first-served basis.
"We are thrilled to kick off the 2012 US Open with the 17th annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess featuring the most popular names in sports and entertainment today," said Gordon Smith, USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. "The event holds a long-standing history of providing a day of fun-filled family activities as attendees celebrate the life of Arthur Ashe and his mission to empower children of all ages through tennis."
Over the years, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day has featured many of music’s biggest acts including Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Sean Kingston, Britney Spears, Ne-Yo, Gavin DeGraw, Jessica Simpson, Backstreet Boys, Cody Simpson, Bow Wow and Hanson.
This year’s lineup will feature:
The Wanted – Since the release of their debut #1 UK single, "All Time Low," two years ago (from their self-titled debut album of 2010), The Wanted – Tom Parker, Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, and Nathan Sykes – have become a global sensation. After piling up a string of five top 3 singles in the UK, success has come quickly in the U.S. Their breakthrough U.S. single, "Glad You Came" spent 15 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 top ten, reaching #3. Their follow up, "Chasing the Sun" is currently the #1 song on the Billboard Dance/Club Play chart and is the featured song in the #1 movie Ice Age: Continental Drift. The Wanted have artfully transcended the ‘boy band’ mold and brought a blast of much-needed fresh air to pop music.
Carly Rae Jepsen – Although she’s been an established artist in her native Canada for several years — with two gold singles, two Juno Award nominations and three MuchMusic awards to her name — singer and songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen was a virtual unknown in the U.S. until February when fellow Canadian Justin Bieber tweeted about a song he heard on the radio while home for Christmas vacation — an irresistible track Jepsen co-wrote titled "Call Me Maybe." The now ubiquitous ‘song of summer,’ sparked an unprecedented viral video craze, racing up charts worldwide, reaching #1 in over 10 countries and is currently in its fifth consecutive week atop the Billboard Hot 100. Jepsen’s follow-up single, "Good Time," a duet with Owl City, has recently hit radio and is already lodged in the top 5 on iTunes. Her debut album is out this fall on 604 Records/Schoolboy Records/Interscope. Carly will also hit the road with Justin Bieber as a very special guest on the multi-platinum Pop/R&B sensation’s 2012 headlining tour of North America.
Owl City – After achieving worldwide success with his platinum selling major label debut album Ocean Eyes and his first U.S. #1 single, "Fireflies" in 2009, when it came time to record The Midsummer Station, Adam Young’s third album as Owl City, the Minnesota native set himself the following challenge: "Over the past several years I'd become fascinated with trying to capture magic in a jar through simple, concise pop songs," he says. On the album’s first single, the incredibly infectious pop gem "Good Time," Young is joined in a duet by "Call Me Maybe" star Carly Rae Jepsen. Young being a fan of Jepsen, reached out to her about collaborating on a song upon learning that she was also a fan of his. This mutual admiration and excitement to work together can be heard on "Good Time" – an undeniable summer anthem.
Mindless Behavior – American teen pop quartet Mindless Behavior, have been preparing for the start of their biggest headlining U.S tour to date, The #1 Girl Tour, which kicks off in Richmond, VA on July 5th. After growing a rabid fan base touring with Justin Bieber, Backstreet Boys and Janet Jackson, Mindless Behavior will cover over 25 cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta and D.C., to name a few. Tickets for the #1 Girl Tour are moving quickly with multiple markets already sold out. The tour finds the fan frenzied pop group playing in venues more than twice the size as the ones they played during their last U.S. headlining tour just a few months ago. The #1 Girl Tour, presented by AEG Live, includes special guests Jacob Latimore, Lil’ Twist, and Interscope Recording artist Kayla Brianna.
Rachel Crow – A lot has changed for the now 14 year old, Rachel Crow, since she won the hearts of America on last season’s X-Factor. A top finalist on the show, Crow has since inked a deal with Columbia Records and a development deal with Nickelodeon; starring in episodes of Big Time Rush, FRED the Show, and Figure It Out! She performed for the White House at this year’s Eater Egg Roll, released her first EP, and is wrapping up her summer arena tour with Big Time Rush. With her heartfelt first single, Mean Girls, starting to impact and a full length album in the works, 2012 is poised to be a breakthrough year for this young superstar.
Matthew Morrison -- A star of stage and screen, Matthew Morrison has been nominated for Tony, Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards. Morrison has most recently starred in the Lionsgate film, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, directed by Kirk Jones. Morrison has signed with Adam Levine’s 222 Records and will be releasing a Broadway standards album in 2013. In May of 2011, Morrison released his self-titled debut solo album with Mercury Records. Morrison has starred in the past three seasons of Fox’s hit musical comedy series Glee as Will Schuester and will continue to star in the series, as it begins airing its fourth season in September. Morrison studied musical theater, vocal performance and dance at New York University’s renowned Tisch School of the Arts. His big Broadway break came when he was cast as heartthrob Link Larkin in the hit Hairspray. Morrison was later nominated for a Tony Award for his role in The Light in the Piazza, and received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for 10 Million Miles. He also starred in the Tony-winning revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theater in New York. A California native, Morrison divides his time between Los Angeles and New York.
Jordin Sparks – It has been nothing short of a whirlwind: The then youngest-ever winner of American Idol, Jordin Sparks was just seventeen years old when she won the coveted title. In the four years that have followed, Jordin has released two albums on 19 Recordings/Jive Records. The first three singles of "Jordin Sparks" went top 5 and the album’s second single, "No Air" selling 4 million digital downloads. Jordin’s second release, 2009’s Battlefield, debuted on the Billboard Album chart at number seven and the first single, also called "Battlefield," reached the top ten on the Billboard Singles Chart and the second single, "S.O.S. (Let the Music Play)," topped the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, becoming Jordin’s first #1. Sparks has toured with Alicia Keys, The Jonas Brothers, New Kids On The Block/Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. 2012 is notable as it is the year that Jordin makes her feature film debut as the lead in the upcoming Sony Picture film Sparkle, set to be released August 17th. The film also stars the late Whitney Houston, Cee Lo Green and Mike Epps. The first official single from the soundtrack of the film, Sparkle: Music from the Motion Picture, features a duet by Jordin and Whitney Houston.
Quddus – With his stunning good looks, broad creativity, and charming personality, Quddus was destined to impact the world. As an established Television Host and Personality, Quddus’ love for Music and the Arts has swept Generation Next as he has skillfully positioned himself as one of the Hottest Talents in Entertainment. Currently, Quddus is the host of Duets, ABC’s summer music competition franchise. Quddus’ popularity among MTV fans and celebrities alike earned him a 2003 "Favorite TV Personality" nomination at the Teen Choice Awards. In 2005, TV Guide named Quddus as one of TV’s "Hottest New Stars," USA Today featured him as a "young hunk worth watching" and Teen People named him one of the "50 Sexiest Men Ever." In 2008, the New York Times called him "the Ryan Seacrest of the Hip-Hop Generation" while The Associated Press declared him "the Coolest Guy on Television."
The Grounds Festival offers a wide range of interactive activities as well as a chance for children of all ages to test their skills, hit with top tennis pros, win prizes and enjoy music:
• Hess Express Stage – The Grounds Festival’s free concert featuring a line-up of up-and-coming musical talent including Love Jones Girlz, Ahsan, Caroline Sunshine, City Kids, Alex Aiono and Megan & Liz.
• 10 & Under Tennis – A chance for kids to learn real tennis and have real fun doing it. 10 & Under Tennis follows almost every other youth sport and uses racquets, balls and courts that are sized right for kids so that they enjoy the game right from the start.
• Hess Express Obstacle Course – Kids test agility, balance, running and tennis skills.
• Hess Target Time – Intermediate and advanced-level kids have a chance to test their skills hitting targets on this court.
• Nike Tennis – Tennis and skill activities on two courts featuring Nike sponsored athletes.
• IBM Speedzone – Two radar guns on court test the speed of kids' serves.
• Xerox Beat the Pro – Kids will have the chance to challenge the pros on this fast-paced court.
• Mario Tennis Open for Nintendo 3DS – Players of all ages and skill levels can enjoy friendly competition and fast-paced tennis action with Mario Tennis Open, a video game for the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system. Join Mario and Luigi in the South Plaza for some fun photo opps and check out this new attraction.
• USTA Serves/Aetna Tennis Skills -- This court will have six to eight various stations for very young kids or special populations. Stations may include things like rolling the ball with a racquet and bouncing a koush ball.
• PTR Speed Tennis – Children can hit with PTR certified professionals on mini-courts at full speed and with complete strokes using a special restricted flight foam ball.
• USPTA Little Tennis – Ideal for younger participants to hit and learn, USPTA certified teaching professionals host this court consisting of 30 colorful hitting stations using a variety of teaching aids.
• USRSA Pro Racquet Round-Up – Kids can see what it feels like to hit with a top pro's personal racquet such as Venus and Serena Williams using actual racquets weighted and balanced to each player’ s specifications.
• World TeamTennis – Co-ed relay races, targeting beginner players, particularly the youngest children attending AAKD. Activities tailored to the age, size, strength and experience level of participants.
• Also – Watch the Pros Practice, Player Autographs, Juggling Workshop, Face-Painting, Hair Braiding, Storytelling, and more.
Presented by Hess and produced by the USTA, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day honors tennis legend Arthur Ashe and continues his mission of using tennis as a means to instill in kids the values of humanitarianism, leadership and academic excellence. Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day introduces children of all ages to the great sport of tennis while bringing families together for a fun, interactive experience. A portion of the proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefits the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network. The NJTL was established by Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder in 1969 with the mission of developing the character of young people through tennis and education. Since then, the NJTL network has grown to include over 600 chapters which serve over 250,000 youth annually. NJTL chapters, which vary in size and scope, can be found in 46 of the top 50 U.S. markets, making NJTL one of the USTA’s largest community-based initiatives. NJTL chapters are supported by the USTA through grants, awards, and various learning opportunities. NJTL participants and chapter leaders have the opportunity to take part in a number of core programs, including the Tennis Leadership Camp, the Arthur Ashe Essay and Art Contest, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, the National Student Athlete Competition, NJTL Kids’ Days, a scholarship to the annual USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop, and low-cost insurance.
The USTA recently launched a new interactive, kid-friendly website for Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. For more information on the event, log on to www.arthurashekidsday.com
, "like" the official Facebook page facebook.com/ArthurAsheKidsDay or follow @AAKidsDay on Twitter. In the event of inclement weather, ticket holders can log on to any of the sites listed above for the most up to date information.
The 2011 US Open drew more than 650,000 fans, maintaining its position as the highest attended annual sporting event in the world. More than 80 million viewers watched the 2011 US Open on CBS Sports and ESPN, and international broadcasts reached 180 countries. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the presenting sponsor of the US Open women’s singles championship. Mercedes-Benz USA is the presenting sponsor of the US Open men’s singles championship.
The 2012 US Open will be held Monday, August 27 through Sunday, September 9. Tickets for the 2012 US Open can be purchased four ways: 1) at USOpen.org; 2) by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX; 3) at all Ticketmaster outlets; or 4) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office. American Express is the Official Card of the US Open.