Will.i.am has recorded and produced plenty of songs in his music career, but he takes his latest single to galactic heights as it debuts from Mars. He explained to ET how his collaboration with NASA came about.
The music master and entrepreneur, born William Adams, grew up in an impoverished neighborhood but cherished the education that he received, and is working to help inspire children and give them the tools to succeed in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.
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In a long chain of events, Adams' passion for stimulating STEM education led him to produce a TV special last year of the FIRST Robotics Competition called "i.am FIRST: Science is Rock and Roll," which featured appearances by him and The Black Eyed Peas amongst other celebrities.
The special's success then caught the attention of the head of NASA, Charles Bolden, who was impressed with will.i.am's efforts to bring attention to STEM and asked if he would lend his star power to help NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) bring attention to their philanthropy.
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With the impending launch of NASA's Curiosity rover to Mars, will.i.am then brewed up the idea of beaming his single "Reach for the Stars," a song about his passion for science and technology, from the rover after it landed safely on the Red Planet.
"They're going to beam the song back to [Earth]. Reach for the stars, right?" he said. "Talk about having an idea and a dream, and then seeing it through."
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"Reach for the Stars" will be broadcast from the Curiosity rover to JPL on Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. PT. As part of will.i.am's i.am. angel Foundation and Discovery Education's initiative to get children more involved in STEM, students in attendance will be taught about the mission and logistics of the song being transmitted across space.
Check out the full interview in the video above for more on will.i.am's new single. The event will be streamed on NASA's website.