LOS ANGELES - It was an old-school party at will.i.am's annual pre-Grammy charity concert as veteran rap stars like Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh rocked a capacity crowd along with the likes of Bell Biv Devoe, Chaka Khan and Sergio Mendes.
The "Trans4m" event on Thursday raised more than $2.4 million for the rapper-producer's i.am.angel Foundation, according to event organizers. The group provides educational support for students in the underprivileged section of East Los Angeles, where will.i.am grew up.
As he waited backstage to introduce various performers, will.i.am said the event, which has become a Grammy-week staple, attracts other stars because they want to support the cause.
"People are coming to the Grammys just to celebrate, and when you put purpose in the room, people inherently, they want to do good," he said. "I think that's the reason why we've been able to keep this going."