Pharrell Williams to perform at Emanuel AME Sunday


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Pop superstar Pharrell Williams will perform during the Sunday service at the Emanuel AME Church, a spokesman said Thursday.

Williams' appearance is part of a special program on race relations produced by A&E Networks and iHeartMedia that was inspired by Charleston's reaction to the shootings of nine people at the church, spokesman Dan Silberman said.

He said the appearance will take place at the church for its members.

But the news of Williams' appearance at the church wasn't supposed to be public knowledge. That had security for the church on Friday busy taking calls from the community on how to get in to see Williams' performance.

But security officials say space is limited and church members are first priority.

Williams' performance will be filmed and will be aired during the program, "Shining Light: A Concert for Progress on Race In America" on Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. The two-hour simulcast event, which takes place on Nov. 18 in Los Angeles, will include performances by multiple artists, including the Zac Brown Band, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Ed Sheeran, Pink and Bruce Springsteen.

"The concert will kick off A+E Networks' campaign to confront issues of race, and promote unity and progress on racial equity, inspired by the response of the Mother Emanuel family members in Charleston and others working for reconciliation and change around the country," according to a statement.

After the concert, A&E will air a one-hour special, "Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America", featuring artists engaging a diverse group of residents from Charleston, Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson.

"Artists, including Pharrell Williams and John Legend, will spark solutions-focused conversations with community members with varying perspectives, including family members of victims, community leaders, law enforcement officials, clergy and organizations seeking to empower communities by fostering understanding, eliminating bias and addressing inequities that break along racial lines," according to the statement."

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