International Presentation of Performers President Joseph Beauchamp was pleased to welcome legendary singer Cece Penniston, who performed at the gala night awards show during iPOP! Las Vegas in July. This year’s iPOP! Convention in Las Vegas brought 1,000 of the most aspiring singers, actors, models and dancers to compete and audition in front of Hollywood and New York’s top agents, managers and casting directors.
Following the week’s activities of auditions and scoutings, the iPOP! awards gala banquet, packed with over 2,000 excited and screaming guests, were kicked off in grand style when Cece brought down the house as she opened the show with her famous rendition of her classic dance hit single “Finally.” With the stage still sizzling from her performance, she gave a warm welcome and a special word of encouragement to all the up-and-coming young talent in the audience hoping to earn a career on the stage or runway.
“I know what it’s like to want to sing and to become a star,” she said. “I had that dream since I was a little girl and I’m so proud to see all of you young people in the audience tonight aspiring to make it big in Hollywood. It takes a lot of hard work and determination but if you really want it, then make it happen.”
Cece was also at iPOP! representing her new role as the official ambassador for the Parent Teachers Association. Cece has been asked by the PTA to be a music liaison for children across the Unites States. As the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation, the Parent Teacher Association reminds the country of its obligations to children and provides parents and families with a powerful voice in speaking on behalf of every child while providing the best tools for parents to help their children be successful students. Cece dedicated her second song, “Above Horizons,” to the children in the audience on behalf of the PTA.
“iPOP! is in the business of discovering talented children and young adults,” said iPOP! President Joseph Beauchamp. “We pride ourselves on bringing top agents, managers and casting directors to Las Vegas to discover tomorrow’s big talent. We are happy that Cece Penniston was able to be in Vegas to show our iPOP! participants that hard work and dedication really does pay off.”
Each year iPOP! selects a charity to raise funds towards and this year’s charitable recipient was the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada. Make-A-Wish was given a booth during the four-day talent convention where Make-A-Wish volunteers had a chance to intermingle with the children, teenagers and young adults who were in attendance that week.
The actors, models, singers and dancers that are all competing for top honors were asked along with their parents to stop by the charity booth and make monetary donations. iPOP! matched the donations made by the participants and parents dollar-for-dollar and presented a check to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada during the final night awards presentation and talent showcase.
During the showcase, two Make-A-Wish teenagers were granted their wishes by performing live in front of the standing room only venue. Diana, who is from Las Vegas, has always dreamed of becoming a model so it was a natural fit for iPOP! to ask Diana to join the top 20 male and female models for a special model showcase during the final awards night.
“I was so nervous to be up there in front of all those people but I was so excited to have my hair and makeup done for that night,” she said. “I had so much fun at iPOP!.”
Anthony has always had a dream to sing in front of a big audience and to record an album. iPOP! Las Vegas made that dream come true for Anthony. He brought the audience to its feet with his soulful singing and got the attention of a Hollywood manager. “The minute I saw him enter the stage I knew Anthony had what it takes to make it in Hollywood,” said Coast to Coast’s Sydel Lisi. “My company signed him and we’ve already got a record production company lined up to record with Anthony.”
“To honor two wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation makes us at iPOP! very happy,” effused iPOP! President Joseph Beauchamp. “iPOP!’s mandate is to make wishes come true for children and teenagers who dream of acting, modeling, singing and dancing professionally. iPOP! is thrilled to be affiliated with Make-A-Wish.”
The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America is the nation’s largest wish-granting organization. It has fulfilled the wishes of more than 161,000 children in the United States and its territories since 1980. Based in Phoenix, the Make-A-Wish Foundation serves every community in the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico through its 67 chapters. While medical technology and treatments have allowed the children they serve to lead longer lives, they continue to strive towards their ultimate mission of fulfilling a wish for every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition.
iPOP! has introduced close to 8,000 talented children, teenagers and young adults to the most respected agents, managers, producers and casting agents in the business today. iPOP! models such as two time Abercrombie and Fitch Campaign Model Mark Carroll; brothers Andrey and Vladimir Ivanov rank among the top male models in the world; Didier Cohen and Keke Lindgard to name a few have signed with Elite, Ford, Wilhelmina, Next, Click Modeling Agencies and have worked on campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ck Jeans, Trussardi, and Dolce & Cabanna.
iPOP! graduates like Doug Brochu can be seen on television starring in Disney Channel’s Sonny With A Chance with Demi Lovato and Yin Chang can be seen on the CW’s Gossip Girl. Other iPOP! participants can be seen on the big screen such as Shelby Zemanek who starred in Angels & Demons with Tom Hanks or Laura Kesling who starred along side Adam Sandler in Bedtime Stories and Devon Conti who played alongside Angelina Jolie in the critically acclaimed movie Changeling directed by Clint Eastwood.