‘DWTS’ Motown Week to Feature Smokey Robinson, Boyz II Men, Natasha Bedingfield and More

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Next week’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars” presents a Motown special with live performances from Motown legends Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and Martha Reeves throughout the evening. The legends kick off the show, performing an unforgettable live Motown medley accompanied by the Troupe. For the first time ever, each artist will perform with the talented “DWTS” band and musical director Harold Wheeler before each of the remaining eight couples begin their competitive dance. During a special performance with dancers Anna Trebunskaya and Val Chmerkovskiy, Smokey Robinson will perform his No.1 hit song, “Tears of a Clown.” Also joining in on the excitement is vocal group Human Nature, performing some of Motown’s most popular hits throughout the evening. And to finish the show we will feature a special Motown Dance Marathon, where the couples will be showing off their classic dance moves from the Motown era, Monday, April 23 at 8:00 pm ET on ABC.

During Tuesday’s show, Best-selling R&B group of all-time Boyz II Men returns to the ballroom with an incredible performance of their latest single, “One More Dance,” off their landmark 20th anniversary album,” Twenty.” Their performance will be accompanied by Dmitry Chaplin and Anna Trebunskaya. The show will open with an amazing number from the Troupe, Val Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd, Louis Van Amstel and Snejana Petrova, featuring a medley of Motown hit songs. This week’s “AT&T’s Spotlight Performance” spotlights the beautiful story of Michaela DePrince. And this week’s “Macy’s Stars of Dance” performance is the long awaited television debut of the hottest new contemporary dance company in America, Shaping Sound. The dance performance is choreographed by and features Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini and Teddy Forance. The performance is a special preview of the following week’s Classical theme with an arrangement recorded by Aston, a classical group from Sydney, Australia, that create symphonic masterpieces out of pop music. The Dance Duel continues, and this week the bottom two couples will dance the Jive to the same song at the same time as the judges decide who the next eliminated couple will be, Tuesday, April 24 at 9 pm ET on ABC.

American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer and former record executive Smokey Robinson is most notable for being the founder and front man of the popular Motown vocal group, The Miracles. After Robinson left the Miracles, “Cruisin’” became his first Top 10 solo single. Another massive hit, “Being with You,” followed. “Just to See Her” from his album, “One Heartbeat,” won Robinson his first Grammy ® Award. Robinson has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, is a Kennedy Center honoree, and has been awarded the National Medal of Arts. He released the standards album “Timeless Love” in 2006 on Universal Records. In 2009 he issued the album “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun” on his own label, Robso Records.

For more than 40 years, The Temptations have prospered, propelling popular music with a series of smash hits and sold-out performances throughout the world. As an essential component of the original Motown machine, The Temptations began their musical life in Detroit in the early ’60s. However, it wasn’t until 1964 that the Smokey Robinson-written and produced “The Way You Do the Things You Do” turned the group into stars. An avalanche of hits followed, including “My Girl,” “Since I Lost My Baby,” “Get Ready,” “I Wish It Would Rain” and “Beauty Is Only Skin Deep.” Beyond the fabulous singing, the Temps became known for smooth stepping and flawless presentations, as the “Temptations Walk” became a staple of American style. Eventually, a series of acclaimed records came, “For Lovers Only,” a collection of love standards, “Phoenix Rising,” which was a platinum megahit featuring the chart stopping hit “Stay,” and “Ear Resistible,” which earned the group a Grammy ®. In 2005 they released “Reflections,” which earned them a Grammy ® nomination and brought to the world The Temptations’ versions of some of Motown’s greatest songs. Today the stellar Temps lineup consists of Otis Williams, Ron Tyson, Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon and Bruce Williamson.

Martha Reeves is one of music’s most beloved and most enduring stars. It was in 1963 that the “Motown’s ultimate soul diva” first hit the road with the Motown Review and began hitting the pop and R &B charts with records made to get people on the dance floor. Martha Reeves and her cohorts, the Vandellas, backed Marvin Gaye on his first three singles before releasing “Come and Get These Memories,” the first of their 20 top hits. With “Heat Wave,” Martha and the Vandellas became the first Motown group nominated for a Grammy ®. Now, 50 years later, she is still on the road, still making audiences dance, winning rave reviews and awards. Currently her song “I’m Not Leaving,” a collaboration with The Crystal Method, is climbing up the Billboard dance charts. The song, which she co-wrote, testifies of her love and commitment to the city she still calls home, Detroit.

Human Nature is Australia’s leading pop vocal group and one of the preeminent vocal harmony groups in the world, with millions of albums sold worldwide. They have released nine albums, five of which went to No.1 in their native continent, garnering 23 platinum awards, and have toured internationally opening for Celine Dion and Michael Jackson. With Universal Music Group’s Universal Music Enterprises, Human Nature is ready to tackle America and carry the legacy of Motown music for a new generation. They recently released “The Motown Record,” which features 11 tracks offering their own authentic take on favorite Motown hits and classics, including the bonus track “Get Ready,” a song they recorded with the legendary Smokey Robinson. They also just released a DVD, “Human Nature Sings Motown,” a special telecast of the group’s Las Vegas stage show filmed by longtime Grammy® producer Ken Ehrlich. Human Nature has just kicked off their first ever U.S National tour, “Human Nature: The Motown Show presented by Smokey Robinson,” hitting 30 cities across the country this year.

Boyz II Men remains one of the most truly iconic R&B groups in music history. The group’s 4 Grammy ® Awards are just the tip of the iceberg: throughout their 20-year career. Boyz II Men have also won a whopping 16 American Music Awards ®, 9 Soul Train Awards, 3 MTV Awards and 3 Billboard Awards. Given the monumental success of their albums and the timeless quality of their vocals, it’s easy to see why Boyz II Men remains an inspiration to some of the most successful stars in the industry, with an astounding 60 million albums sold. Most recently Boyz II Men have marked their 20th anniversary by releasing a landmark album, fittingly titled “Twenty.” The album contains the group’s first original material in nearly a decade as well as a dozen remasetered classic, career-defining hits. “Twenty” debuted at #20 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart, #4 on the Billboard R&B album chart, #10 on the Billboard Digital Album Chart, and placed #1 on the iTunes R&B Soul Album chart. The first song from “Twenty,” “More Than You’ll Ever Know,” cracked into the top 15 on Urban AC charts and is still climbing.

“AT&T’s Spotlight Performance,” features and celebrates people whose lives have been changed forever by dance. This week “Dancing with the Stars” has chosen to spotlight dancer Michaela DePrince. She was born in Sierra Leone and her parents died in the conflicts there when she was very young, so Michaela ended up in an orphanage. She always wanted to dance, but never had the opportunity. She finally got her chance when she was adopted by an American couple a few years later. Her mother enrolled her in ballet classes and Michaela excelled! Recently she earned a scholarship to the JKO School at American Ballet Theater and she is soon hoping to become a principal in a ballet company. Her story is featured in the award-winning documentary, “First Position,” by Bess Kargman, which follows six young dancers as they prepare for a chance to enter the world of professional ballet, struggling through bloodied feet, near exhaustion and debilitating injuries all while navigating the drama of adolescence. “First Position,” directed and produced by Bess Kargman from Sundance Selects, will be released May 4, 2012. During her performance on “Dancing with the Stars,” Michaela will be dancing with Ade Chike Torbert, who competed on “SYTYCD.” Natasha Bedingfield will be performing live with Michaela, singing her powerful hit song “Wild Horses.”

While the theme of her music is always soulful, Natasha Bedingfield’s gifts as a singer and songwriter continue to reflect that infectious pop sensibility that catapulted her to being the first British female artist in 20 years to score a No.1 on the U.S. Billboard pop chart with her smash hit “Unwritten.” Since the release of her massive debut album, “Unwritten,” in 2006, Bedingfield has sold more than 10 million singles and albums worldwide. In 2004 “These Words” became her first UK
No. 1 single, and was followed by worldwide smash “Unwritten,” which has been certified double platinum and became the most played track at U.S. pop radio in 2006, garnering the singer-songwriter her first Grammy® nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Natasha’s success continued with the release of her sophomore album, “Pocket Full Of Sunshine,” which featured the hits “Love Like This” with Sean Kingston and “Pocket Full of Sunshine,” which has sold nearly 3 million copies to date.

By Tuesday evening’s end, one couple will be eliminated, as determined by a combination of the judges’ scores and viewers’ votes on dances performed on Monday’s performance show. Who among the eight couples will be the next to leave the ballroom?

* DONALD DRIVER and partner PETA MURGATROYD
* ROSHON FEGAN and partner CHELSIE HIGHTOWER
* MELISSA GILBERT and partner MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY
* KATHERINE JENKINS and partner MARK BALLAS
* GLADYS KNIGHT and partner TRISTAN MACMANUS
* WILLIAM LEVY and partner CHERYL BURKE
* MARIA MENOUNOS and partner DEREK HOUGH
* JALEEL WHITE and partner KYM JOHNSON

Hosted by Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) and Brooke Burke-Charvet (“Dancing with the Stars” Season Seven Champion), the celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which will be judged by renowned Ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba. Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday night during and up to 60 minutes after the “Dancing with the Stars” performance shows. AT&T customers may also vote by texting the word “VOTE” and entering the number that corresponds to the team they want to support (message and data rates may apply).

 

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4 thoughts on “‘DWTS’ Motown Week to Feature Smokey Robinson, Boyz II Men, Natasha Bedingfield and More

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