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The Roots and Ben Folds Five will share top billing at the annual concert. Melding an unusual combination of harmonious piano rock and rhythmic hip hop, Ben Folds Five and the Roots will share center stage at this year's Spring Fling concert. The Social Planning and Events Committee, which announced the co-headliners last night, said negotiations for a smaller opening band are still in the works. By having the two groups co-headline the event on Friday, April 14, the concert's organizers hope to please a larger range of Penn students than in past years, when only one or two types of music were represented. "Our goal is to get a mix, since music is such a matter of taste," said SPEC concerts co-director Ari Jaffess, an Engineering senior. "I think a lot of people will be excited for these two bands." Tickets will go on sale on Locust Walk starting March 27. Tickets bought in advance will cost $15 for PennCard holders and $23 for the general public. There will be a yet-to-be-announced surcharge on tickets bought the day of the show. The concert will be held on Hill Field, rain or shine. For the last three years, the event has been moved inside to the Palestra because of adverse weather conditions. Ben Folds Five, a unique guitar-free piano trio, was formed in 1993 by pianist and singer Ben Folds. The group made a mainstream name for themselves with their hit single "Brick" in 1997. Their 1997 album, Whatever and Ever Amen, went platinum. Since then, they have also released another album, titled The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, which did rather poor commercially. The Roots, a Philadelphia-based rap and R&B; group, was formed in 1987. With no turntables or disc jockeys, the group is known for its use of live instrumentation at concerts and has in recent years exploded from the underground club scene to achieve critical success and widespread popularity. Drummer ?uestlove and rapper Black Thought -- who met while enrolled in Philadelphia's School for the Creative and Performing Arts -- have been called crafters of "organic hip hop." Their latest release and first live album is The Roots Come Alive. Off that album, the hit single "You Got Me" with singer Erykah Badu earned the group a Grammy in the category for the best duo performance. The Roots' other albums include Organix in 1993, Do You Want More!!??! in 1995 and Illadelph Halflife in 1996. Last year's Spring Fling headliner was the punk-ska band The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. They were joined by Run DMC, D-Generation and Clowns for Progress. "These bands are more current than past year's bands," Jaffess said. Bands that have headlined Fling in past years include Violent Femmes, Cypress Hill and A Tribe Called Quest. The theme for this year's Spring Fling is "Fling Me Baby One More Time," inspired by teen-queen singing sensation Britney Spears' hit song.

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