Top rapper 50 cent to play Colisee

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Say what you want about the size of the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. If you judge by the talent that appears there, the little arena has become a big league venue.

You don’t get much bigger, after all, than 50 Cent, slated to perform at the Colisee next month.

Take that, scoffers.

Several years ago, owners Firland Management downplayed the Colisee as a concert venue when they purchased it.

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With 50 Cent and the May 8 Korn show, the arena is hoping to once again be a place to see nationally known musical acts, said Androscoggin Bank Colisee Spokeswoman Shawna Romain. Part of that has been in developing a relationship with promoters New England Concerts.

“We’re looking to expand beyond rock,” Romain said. 50 Cent will headline the first hip-hop show at the Colisee. The arena is also in talks to bring a national country music act.

The Colisee announced the 50 Cent (pronounced “fitty cent” by those in the know) show on Wednesday afternoon.

“We had quite a few calls already,” Romain said at 4 p.m.

At 5 p.m., the arena was set to begin selling tickets to people who had signed up as Colisee fans on the Internet site Facebook. Tickets to the general public go on sale Friday morning at 9 a.m.

 Romain was unsure what the scene would be like on Friday.

“We had a line into the parking lot when the tickets for (comedian) Jeff Dunham went on sale,” she said. Tickets are $31.50 in advance or $3 more on the day of the show.

The rapper will play one show at the Lewiston arena on June 20, part of his “The Invitation” tour. Showtime is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

50 Cent, born Curtis James Jackson III, rose to fame with the release of his albums “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” in 2003 and “The Massacre” in 2005. “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” has been certified eight times platinum and has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

His album “The Massacre” has been certified five times platinum and has sold 11 million copies worldwide.

Born in South Jamaica in the Queens borough of New York City, Jackson released his album “Guess Who’s Back?” in 2002. He was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed to Interscope Records.

Jackson has pursued an acting career, appearing in the semi-autobiographical film “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” in 2005, the Iraq War film “Home of the Brave” in 2006 and “Righteous Kill” in 2008.

On Dec. 11, 2009, 50 Cent was ranked the sixth-best artist of the 2000-09 decade by Billboard Magazine, and ranked as the fourth-top male artist and the third-top rapper behind Eminem and Nelly. Billboard Magazine also named him the No. 1 Rap Song Artist of the 2000-09 decade.

For more information, call the Colisee box office at 783-2009.

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