Jumat, 07 Desember 2007

Akon performs at early New Year's party (AP)

BURBANK, Calif. - A day after earning four Grammy nominations, Akon performed at a New Year's Eve party. "Wattup! Happy New Year!" the singer called out to a young crowd decked out in party hats and "2008" glasses.

Hold it. A New Year's party in early December? That's television. Specifically, "Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve."

Inside a soundstage decorated like a club, the show on Friday taped concerts with Akon, Natasha Bedingfield and Sean Kingston. They will be mixed in with live segments hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark and air Dec. 31 on ABC.

"Alright folks, here we come," a producer called out as taping began. "It's New Year's Eve, everybody's having fun."

Glittery confetti was on the floor, teens lined up in the faux VIP section next to a fake bar (no alcohol was served), and Akon performed his hits "Don't Matter," "Smack That" and "I Wanna Love You."

For each song, there was a rehearsal, then the actual performance, then producers played a canned version of the song as cameramen roamed the audience for dancing close-ups.

"Doing the same dance moves over and over again, it gets tiring," said Sal Mendoza, 17, who came with a group from his high school as part of a fundraising effort. "It feels like New Year's came and went already."

Akon, wearing black jeans, a Lacoste sweater and white collared shirt, yelled "Happy New Year!" repeatedly, and asked the crowd: "Ya'll party early! So what happens on New Year's? Ya'll going to party again?"

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