Charlotte to host bevy of A-listers

From former first daughter Chelsea Clinton to “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria, an eclectic group of celebrities is poised to descend on Charlotte, N.C., for the Democratic National Convention.

Longoria, an Obama for America campaign co-chairwoman, will be making a return trip to the convention — she attended the 2008 festivities in Denver. She’ll also be addressing the delegates.

The glam actress and ardent Obama supporter told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, “My representatives probably are a little scared to tell me not to be political. They know how passionate I am.”

Another Hollywood regular who will likely have heads turning at the convention is actress Ashley Judd, who will serve as a delegate. The “De-Lovely” star, who has stumped for the president on the campaign trail, was selected as a Tennessee delegate. 

Actress Jessica Alba and her husband, Cash Warren, will be on hand to watch President Obama accept his party’s nomination and then host a party afterward. “Super-O-Rama,” organized by several Democratic super-PACs, will also feature performances by Pitbull and Scissor Sisters.

Grammy-winner James Taylor will be the opening act for Obama. He’ll perform at the Bank of America Stadium on Thursday night before the president gives his acceptance speech.

One prominent Obama supporter who won’t be cheering on the president is George Clooney. He will not attend the convention, a spokesman for the actor said, though that’s not too surprising because Clooney didn’t attend the 2008 gathering in Denver either.

Chelsea Clinton also will be embarking on a new role while in Charlotte. As she did in Tampa, the presidential progeny and NBC special correspondent, who is famously media-shy, will be co-moderating a panel called “Conversations With the Next Generation.” 

“Harold & Kumar” actor Kal Penn, who returned to acting after a two-year-long stint in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, will be among the guests at the Wednesday event hosted by National Journal, The Atlantic and Microsoft. MTV star and documentary filmmaker Andrew Jenks will also lend his voice to the discussion.

The nonpartisan Voto Latino is bringing a bevy of big-name entertainers to the Tar Heel State. “Sin City” actress Rosario Dawson, “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera, “That ’70s Show” actor Wilmer Valderrama, Taboo from hit-making pop stars the Black Eyed Peas and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons are all expected to appear at Wednesday’s “Crash the Parties” soiree.

Convention-goers also will have a chance to get their groove on while in Charlotte. 

The Roots and Allen Stone will get things started on Monday, performing at a Musical Extravaganza at Gallery X.

And actor Jeff Bridges and his band, the Abiders, will perform at CarolinaFest 2012 on Labor Day. CarolinaFest is the official celebration sponsored by the convention host committee in downtown Charlotte. 

In a blast from the past, the Creative Coalition has booked the B-52s to perform at its gala. The band’s 1989 single “Love Shack” is a staple of bar mitzvahs and shindigs across the country.

On the other end of the musical spectrum, “Right Round” rapper Flo Rida will headline a benefit concert Wednesday held by the veterans’ group Got Your 6.

And the Foo Fighters will perform at a Rock the Vote event Wednesday.