Radio Disney and Disney Channel will introduce the “N.B.T.” (Next BIG Thing) season five artists when the popular musical talent competition premieres during the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie Girl Vs. Monster on Friday, October 12 at 8:00 pm ET/PT and throughout the day on Radio Disney. This season’s winner will perform on the hit Disney Channel series “Austin & Ally,” have a new single released by Disney Music Group and be the opening act for popular Radio Disney recording artists at the “N.B.T.” finale concert and winner announcement this December in Los Angeles. In advance of the season premiere, Radio Disney will debut each artist’s first “N.B.T.” single on Monday, September 17, and singles will be available on iTunes Tuesday, September 25.
New to this season, Radio Disney and Disney Channel audiences will get a preview of each artist in their hometowns. The featured artists, ages 12-17, are R&B singers and actresses Chloe and Halle Bailey; acoustic pop singer and actress Katherine Hughes; R&B singer, dancer and actor Damian Otchere; modern rock and pop singer, songwriter and musician Jack Skuller; and pop singer, songwriter and actress Elle Winter. In addition to their own singles, new to this year’s competition, each artist will also perform a popular cover song. Throughout the season, viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look as contestants work with mentors including pop recording artist Cher Lloyd who’s single “Want U Back” hit #1 on Radio Disney’s Top 30 and top 10 on Mediabase’s Top 40, Ross Lynch and Laura Marano of Disney Channel’s hit series “Austin & Ally,” and “N.B.T.” season four winner Shealeigh.
“N.B.T.” season five voting will commence on Friday, October 26 (7:00 p.m., ET/4:00 p.m., PT). This season fans will have more chances to vote for their favorite artist with the addition of Twitter voting, and an expanded 10 votes per day per platform, which also include RadioDisney.com, Radio Disney’s Facebook page, and via texting* “NBT” to DISNEY (347639). Each artist will receive equal play and exposure, and at the end of each round, will face elimination based on listener votes.
Hosted by Radio Disney on-air personality Jake Whetter, “N.B.T.” is a daily multiplatform competition that launched the careers of Hollywood Records recording artist and Disney Channel star Coco Jones (“Let It Shine”), as well as Kicking Daisies, Shealeigh and Allstar Weekend, and puts the spotlight on aspiring young recording artists and provides them with the chance to showcase their music across national broadcast and online platforms.
The popular musical talent competition for young artists, Radio Disney’s “N.B.T.” (Next BIG Thing), hits a higher octave in its fifth season beginning in the fall. This season’s winner will perform on the hit Disney Channel series “Austin & Ally,” have a single released by Disney Music Group and be the opening act for popular Radio Disney recording artists at the “N.B.T.” finale concert this year in Los Angeles. Radio Disney and Disney Channel audiences will determine the winner when they are invited to look, listen and vote for their favorite artist.
Radio Disney will introduce its season five “N.B.T.” artists at the first-ever three-night showcase at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort from Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24 at 8:00 pm ET. The showcase, hosted by Radio Disney on-air personality and “N.B.T.” host Jake Whetter, will feature all of the season five artists, giving fans a taste of their varied musical styles. Season four “N.B.T.” winner Shealeigh and runner-up Zack Montana will also take the stage for headline performances.
“This season’s showcase event at Walt Disney World Resort and the integration with Disney Channel’s ‘Austin & Ally’ exemplify our efforts to continuously expand ‘N.B.T.,’ providing our audience with an enhanced experience each season and delivering increased exposure for our young artists,” said Phil Guerini, Vice President and General Manager, Radio Disney.
Kicking off July 1 at Chicago’s Taste of Joliet, “N.B.T. On Tour” powered by Invisalign Teen is a multi-market concert tour featuring season five “N.B.T.” artists, “N.B.T.” alumni and popular Radio Disney artists. “Austin & Ally” stars Ross Lynch and Laura Marano are expected to make guest appearances throughout the tour, which will stop in more than 15 cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Sacramento and Seattle. Invisalign Teen will also sponsor the multiplatform competition on Radio Disney and Disney Channel.
“We are thrilled to come back for a second year as title sponsor of Radio Disney’s ‘NBT On Tour,’ and look forward to engaging with fans and their parents about Invisalign Teen,” said Thomas M. Prescott, president and CEO of Align Technology (Invisalign). “One of the keys to a successful performance is exuding confidence, and Invisalign Teen is a modern choice for straightening teeth that can help kids feel more confident as they pursue their dreams — no matter what their passion may be.”
“Holding auditions in various cities this year helped us select a talented lineup of artists that represent a mix of musical styles from rockabilly to R&B and acoustic pop,” said Kelly Edwards, Executive Director, Music and Programming, Radio Disney. She added, “In addition to hearing new music from five great artists, fans will also fall in love with their charismatic and dynamic personalities.”
This year’s artists, ages 12-17, are:
- Chloe and Halle Bailey 13-year-old and 12-year-old (respectively) sister R&B singers and actresses from Atlanta, Georgia
- Damian Otchere 16-year-old pop and R&B singer, dancer and actor originally from Brooklyn, New York, currently residing in East Orange, New Jersey
- Elle Winter 13-year-old pop singer, songwriter and actress from New York, New York
- Jack Skuller 16-year-old rockabilly singer and songwriter from Hoboken, New Jersey
- Katherine Hughes 17-year-old acoustic pop singer and actress from New York, New York
“N.B.T.,” a daily multiplatform competition that launched the careers of Hollywood Records recording artist and Disney Channel star Coco Jones (“Let It Shine”), as well as Kicking Daisies, Shealeigh and Allstar Weekend, puts the spotlight on aspiring young recording artists and provides them with the chance to showcase their music across national broadcast and online platforms. Over the course of 10 weeks, Radio Disney and Disney Channel audiences will be invited to look, listen and vote for their favorite artist via multiple entry points including RadioDisney.com and by texting “NBT” to DISNEY (347639) (standard messaging rates may apply).
Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival® presented by BMO Harris Bank, the country’s largest evening holiday celebration, will ring in the 2011 holiday season for the nation on Saturday, November 19 with a “bigger, better and brighter” schedule of events. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the beloved holiday tradition.
One million people from around the country will travel to Chicago to experience a weekend of nonstop holiday offerings that lead up to a magical evening procession featuring more than 40 magnificent floats, helium-filled balloons, classic characters from Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida, lively marching bands and musical performances from top artists. Grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from the Walt Disney World® Resort will appear together on the lead parade vehicle for the second year in a row to illuminate one million lights on 200 trees along Michigan Avenue, One of the Great Avenues of the World.
The nationally-televised event will be broadcast on Saturday, November 19 from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. CST in local markets on ABC 7 Chicago and in more than 65 markets around the country throughout the holiday season. Broadcast times are available in local listings.
Star appearances include star of Disney Channel’s hit series “A.N.T. Farm” and Hollywood Records recording artist China Anne McClain, along with her sisters Lauryn McClain and Sierra McClain; My Block/Columbia Records multi-Grammy Award-winning inspirational recording act Mary Mary; American Idol finalists Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams; cast members of the Disney Channel Original Movie “Lemonade Mouth;” Jake and the Never Land Pirate Band as seen on Disney Junior; Radio Disney’s N.B.T. (Next Big Thing) artist Shealeigh from Chicago; Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players; Disney Music Group Artist Nathan Pacheco; and more.
The holiday celebration also includes:
The procession, starting at 5:30 p.m. CST, features a spectacular collection of floats from favorites including:
- The Chicago Flower & Garden Show (March 10 – 18) will provide a glimpse into the warmer seasons with their “Spring Experience” procession float, a “spring globe” infused with the colors, style and inspiration of “Hort Couture.”
- Candyality, “Chicago’s sweetest destination,” will showcase a candy-inspired holiday wonderland featuring more than 10,000 lights and a truckload of candy
- Garrett Popcorn Shops will provide samples of their world-famous popcorn along the procession route as it is freshly popped on their float
- Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group will honor the city’s renowned sports culture with baseball great Ernie Banks, Dutchie Caray and other sports legends
- Santa Claus will greet children of all ages as he flies over the John Hancock Center on his sleigh
- Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck as well as favorite characters from Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida will add excitement to the procession
- Seasonal offers from participating businesses in The Magnificent Mile district including holiday hotel packages, shopping perks, dining specials and more.
- The stunning Fireworks Spectacular over the Chicago River, created from more than 10,000 handmade fireworks shells from Lumina, will serve as the grand finale of the beloved holiday event at approximately 6:55 p.m. CST
- Performances from local marching bands including Crystal Lake Strikers Drum-Line, Morton West High School Band; Loyola Academy High School Band and Proviso East High School Band as well as the Spring-Ford High School Band from Royersford, PA
- Larger-than-life helium-filled balloons including Kermit the Frog sponsored by Disney’s The Muppets, a famous red-nosed reindeer and more
- A treasure hunt from BMO Harris Bank offering families great prizes and more information about BMO Harris Bank’s new “Helpful Steps for Parents,” a program designed to help parents get a jump start on saving for their children’s futures. Hubert the Lion will also be available for pictures
- “Lights Festival Lane,” an interactive, holiday wonderland featuring booths from BMO Harris Bank, Eli’s Cheesecake, DePaul University, Radio Disney/AM 1300, Chevy, John Hancock Observatory, The Museum of Science and Industry, DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile and more (401 N. Michigan Avenue)
- A full lineup of live musical performances on the BMO Harris Bank Stage in Pioneer Court from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. CST (401 N. Michigan Avenue)