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ABC hires Ray Chew to provide music for 'Dancing with the Stars'

ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” has found their new bandleader. Executives hired Ray Chew to replace Harold Wheeler beginning at Season 18. This isn’t Ray’s first time directing. He was the music director for the 2013 "Emmy Awards," "It’s Showtime at the Apollo" and "American Idol."

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Musician Ray Chew attends the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration 2014 on January 31, 2014 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Musician Ray Chew attends the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration 2014 on January 31, 2014 in New York City. Photo by Gary Gershoff

On Feb. 4, 2014, ABC fired long time bandleader, Harold Wheeler and the 28-member orchestra. Harold and the orchestra have been with “DWTS” since it began. Many fans predict that firing Harold and removing the big orchestra music, will mark the end of the long running show.

Ray is looking forward to his new role. According to USA Today, he released a statement, "I'm looking forward to continuing the musical legacy established on "Dancing with the Stars," a show that respects live music and musicians."

According to USA Today, Conrad Green, executive producer of "Dancing with the Stars" said in a statement, "Live music is the lifeblood of "DWTS" and we couldn't be more excited to be working with Ray and his talented band. Ray is one of the most versatile and dynamic musicians working today. It promises to be a spectacular season."

Be sure to tune in to ABC March 18, 2014 at 7 p.m. central for "Dancing with the Stars" Season 18.