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Destiny's Child star Beyonce Knowles signs for Pepsi

NEW YORK - Beyonce Knowles, the lead singer of R&B band Destiny's Child, is to star in an advertising campaign for Pepsi, becoming the latest in a string of popstars to be associated with the soft drink brand.

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Knowles, who also appeared in 'Austin Powers in Goldmember' earlier this year, will feature in two new TV commercials and Pepsi also has the option to sponsor a solo concert tour, which Knowles is considering for 2003.

The television spots are to be directed by the renowned film director Spike Lee, through his ad agency Spike DDB. Spike DDB was founded by Lee and DDB Worldwide, part of the Omnicom Group.

Knowles joins Shakira, who sang the 'Joy of Pepsi' in a recent spot, and Britney Spears, who starred in the world's most expensive ad when she appeared in two Pepsi spots shown during Super Bowl XXXVI in January.

In October, in the UK, Pepsi dropped 'Pop Idol's Gareth Gates. The cola firm said that the popularity of the show's runner-up was already on the wane among teenagers. The short shelf life of Gates means that he will lose out on the £750,000 advertising contract.

"Beyonce's popularity resonates with a remarkably broad audience," Randy Melville, vice-president of multiculturalism and strategic initiatives for Pepsi-Cola North America, said. "We look forward to doing extraordinary work with Beyonce, reaching out to a diverse range of consumers and communities across the country."

Knowles, who said that she has "been a fan of Pepsi's TV ads" for as long as she could remember, will include radio and internet, point-of-purchase materials and consumer promotions.

According to Knowles: "I'm thrilled to be joining so many talented entertainers who have created memorable Pepsi moments over the years. Many of them have inspired me, and I'd love to do the same for the next generation of artists out there."

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