Today, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced the lineup for the 2018 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation. The world’s largest single-day, grassroots tennis and entertainment event will feature some of the top tennis players in the world including 23-time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams, defending US Open Champion and World Number One Rafael Nadal, 2018 Wimbledon Champions and past US Open Champions Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber, and 2018 US Open Finalist Madison Keys, plus live performances from Latin Grammy-nominated boy band CNCO, critically-acclaimed sibling group Echosmith, multilingual music sensations In Real Life, pop powerhouse Kim Petras and teenage singer-songwriter AJ Mitchell. The show will also feature a special performance of “Shine” by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with the entire cast. The event takes place on Saturday, August 25 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY, from 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. and honors the legacy and impact of Arthur Ashe. The event also serves as the kick-off to the 2018 US Open, celebrating the tournament’s milestone 50th anniversary, which runs from August 27–September 9.
Television and film star Skai Jackson and Interscope recording artist Alex Aiono will co-host, along with Radio Disney’s Morgan, who appears as part of the event’s partnership with Radio Disney, the #1 family destination for music from today’s biggest rising stars.
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the US Open and Arthur Ashe's historic win, we are reminded as to why we honor Arthur Ashe and his legacy on this day,” said Gordon Smith, USTA Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, and the USTA’s Net Generation, help fulfill Arthur’s mission of promoting the sport of tennis to young people and continue Arthur’s vision of instilling the values of humanitarianism, leadership and academic excellence. We pay tribute to Arthur Ashe as a champion both on and off the court and a leader for civil rights, equal rights, and human rights.”
For the second consecutive year, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day will support and promote Net Generation, the USTA’s approach to inspire the next generation of tennis athletes. Embracing all aspects of youth play for kids aged 5 – 18, the objective of Net Generation is to provide a kid-friendly, safe connection to the sport, while also serving as a platform to celebrate individuality and self-expression.
From 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., kids can try out Net Generation tennis during the free Grounds Festival, plus enjoy live music and other family-friendly activities. The ticketed Stadium Show from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. features live music from pop headliners, as well as top WTA and ATP World Tour pros in fun exhibition matches and skills competitions.
Stadium show tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster (1-866-OPEN-TIX), www.usopen.org and at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office. General admission promenade tickets cost $10 and loge tickets are $25. Arthur Ashe Kids' Day powered by Net Generation will also broadcast nationally on ABC on Sunday, August 26, from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. (ET).
Over the past 22 years, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day has been a launching ground and platform for artists such as Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Jonas Brothers, Fifth Harmony, Ne-Yo, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and many more.
This year’s lineup includes:
Echosmith – Multi-platinum alt-pop sibling trio Echosmith recently returned with their bold, synth-driven radio single, “Over My Head,” the band’s most evolved sound to date since the Inside A Dream EP, following their breakout success with the debut album Talking Dreams and its triple-platinum hit, “Cool Kids” and platinum-certified “Bright.” Inside A Dream quickly earned critical acclaim from the likes ofBillboard, Vulture, MTV, and Substream Magazine, adding to the list of rave reviews for the band from ELLE, Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, NYLON, and more in praise of their distinctive melody-minded, New Wave-influenced sound. Since forming in 2009, the Sierotas – Sydney (vocals/keyboard), Noah (vocals/bass), and Graham (drums) – have played to crowds of thousands at sold-out shows across the U.S. and Europe and performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Conan, and more.
CNCO – Just two years after its formation, the Latin GRAMMY®-nominated phenomenon CNCO (pronounced C-N-C-O) has become one of Latin pop's most influential and prolific hit-makers. Comprised by five young Latinos of different nationalities – Christopher (Ecuador), Erick Brian (Cuba), Joel (México), Richard (Dominican Republic) and Zabdiel (Puerto Rico), - the group emerged from Univision's musical competition La Banda, which was executive-produced by Simon Cowell's SYCO Entertainment, global icon Ricky Martin, Univision Communications, and Haim Saban's Saban Brands. CNCO has broken all barriers and established themselves as an unstoppable global force. Their recent sophomore album debuted #1 in 13 countries across the Americas, including the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Argentina and Chile, and Top 20 in more than 30 countries in four continents. During 2017, CNCO sold out 40 concerts in 15 different countries and joined Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull on their North American tour. The quintet is conquering each corner of the planet regardless of cultural or language barriers and set to be one of the most prestigious Latin acts in recent history.
In Real Life – Sergio Calderon, Michael Conor, Chance Perez, Andrew Ramos and Brady Tutton all come from different backgrounds, but share a common gift of musical ability. They are the first band in history to be voted together by America on ABC’s 2017 summer reality competition, Boy Band. Earlier this year, the band released their second single, “Tattoo (How ‘Bout You),” which soared to #28 at Top 40 radio and was #3 most added in its first week, on the heels of “Eyes Closed,” written by Justin Tranter, which they performed on the Boy Band finale. The band has already amassed a loyal following of fans, and performed on Good Morning America, Live! With Kelly & Ryan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, MTV's Total Request Live, Despierta America, and the Disney Channel Holiday Celebration. They recently debuted the video for their follow-up summer hit “Tonight Belongs to You”.
AJ Mitchell – Teenage singer-songwriter AJ Mitchell gained attention for his signature pop/R&B sound after posting covers and original material on Instagram, where he’s attained 1.5 million followers. The Bellville, Illinois-native started posting videos at age thirteen because “I needed to hear feedback from someone other than my parents,” he says with a laugh. AJ’s radio-ready single “Girls,” off his recently-released major label debut EP Hopeful (Epic Records), proves his writing talent is infectious and that he’s out to evoke a specific vibe. “I want people to dance and be able to relate to my music.” The singer-songwriter says the lyrics stemmed from the advice he’s received most often through his journey: Don’t get a girlfriend! “It’s good advice,” he laughs. “They can be distracting. But they give me a lot to write about.” Attached or not, he’ll find plenty to address on the road ahead.
Kim Petras – Somewhere between nineties American pop and eighties European disco, rises the undeniable voice of Kim Petras. Her 2017 breakout debut single “I Don’t Want It At All” unlocks her world. The track quickly amassed more than 10 million Spotify streams and went to #1 on the Spotify Global Viral 50 Chart just four days after release. More recently, “Heart To Break” has quickly racked up over 10 million Spotify streams, bringing her total streams to over 41 million. The video for “Heart to Break,” a delectable pop fantasy that sees Kim re-imagined as a modern day Disney princess finding her dream man, reached 2 million YouTube views in less than two weeks bringing Kim’s total YouTube views to more than 9 million. Kim recently announced that she will be joining Troye Sivan’s The Bloom Tour later this fall and released her latest power-pop anthem “Can’t Do Better.”
Skai Jackson – was most recently seen as Zuri Ross in the Disney Channel comedy series BUNK'D. The role, which reprised from the hit series Jessie, earned Jackson a 2016 NAACP Award nomination in the category of ‘Outstanding Performance by a Youth.’ Her other television roles include appearances on Boardwalk Empire, Royal Pains, Rescue Me, Sesame Street and the pilot Louie, as well as a starring role in Hallmark Channel’s The Watsons Go to Birmingham. Additionally, Jackson has voiced various characters for Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies, Team UmiZoomi and Kick Buttowski. She also recently starred on the big screen alongside Dwayne Johsnon in GI Joe 2, The Smurfs Movie, Arthur, Liberty Kid and The Rebound. Skai is a passionate advocate for anti-bullying and is quickly becoming a household name and a role model for younger generations using her large following to stand up to bullies on social media.
Alex Aiono – 22-year-old L.A.-based singer/songwriter Alex Aiono first amassed a following creating his own “flipped” versions of popular songs, including his “One Dance” mash-up which now has more than 63M views. Aiono has since released five original songs – “Work The Middle,” “Question,” “Does It Feel Like Falling feat. Trinidad Cardona,” “One At A Time feat. T-Pain,” and “Thinking About You,” – which he performed on his North American Feels Like Tour 2018. He also released “Hot2Touch” with Felix Jaehn and Hight, a #1, which has been certified Platinum in Germany with over 110M streams. While continuing to host for Radio Disney, touring as an artist and accumulating 2.4 million Instagram followers, 5.8 million YouTube subscribers and three-quarters of a billion views, Alex’s fans are engaged with every song, image and post, finding refuge in his alluring energy. Aiono is currently working on his debut album for Interscope Records.
Shine MSD – is a non-profit 501(c)(3) founded by Marjory Stoneman Douglas drama students after the school shooting on February 14, 2018 to support victims’ families and heal the Parkland community through the arts. The organization takes its name from the original song, “Shine,” written by MSD drama students Sawyer Garrity and Andrea Peňa. What began as a personal healing journey, channeling their pain and anger into the writing of the song, quickly evolved into what has become an anthem for a generation determined to make a change in the world. Shine MSD was formed to teach the power of artistic expression and to give the students a platform to find their own voice. The non-profit currently runs Camp Shine providing free drama, music and art therapy to MSD students. Sawyer, Andrea and their families and friends realized the power of healing through artistic expression, and the positive impact the arts has in inspiring hope and unity in the aftermath of tragedy.
The AAKD Grounds Festival will feature Net Generation tennis on 14 courts, and a wide range of interactive activities for children of all ages and skill levels including adidas Earn Your Stripes, Chase Challenge, evian® I Wanna Play, Emirates Airline Beat the Pro, IBM Speedzone, Mount Sinai Get Fit and Play and Wilson Stars Court. Additional activities include:
►AAKD Festival Stage hosted by Radio Disney – the Grounds Festival’s free concert will feature up-and-coming musical talent including JAGMAC, Brynn Elliott, 4th Ave, X's & O's and Meg Donnelly.
►The US Open American Express Fan Experience – Step inside the US Open American Express Fan Experience for even more tennis fun! The Fan Experience is located in the Chase Center near the East Gate.
►Watch the Pros Practice – See tennis’s biggest stars up close and personal as they prepare for the tournament. Public practices are featured on the new Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand, Court 17 and Practice Courts 1-5.
►Also – Cardio Tennis, Face Painting, Juggling Workshop, Hair Beading and Braiding, Storytelling, Balloon Artists, Roving Entertainers and more!
For more information on Net Generation and Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, log on to www.NetGeneration.com and/or www.AAKD.com. To connect via social media, please “like” the official Facebook pagefacebook.com/usopentennis and/or follow @usopen on Twitter and Instagram. Fans can also follow all of the action with #ArthurAsheKidsDay on all social platforms. In the event of inclement weather, ticket holders can log on to any of the sites or handles listed above for the most up-to-date information.
Proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day benefit the USTA Foundation, which helps fund the National Junior Tennis & Learning Network (NJTL), a nationwide group of more than 500 nonprofit youth-development organizations that provide free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to more than 225,000 children each year, founded 49 years ago by Arthur Ashe, along with Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder.
For more information on Arthur Ashe and his legacy, please visit the Arthur Ashe Learning Center at www.arthurashe.org.