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Alice Cooper to portray King Herod in NBC's 'Jesus Christ Superstar Live!'

(Reuters/Valentin Flauraud)Rock star Alice Cooper performs during the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux July 8, 2009.

Famed shock rocker Alice Cooper will be taking the stage as King Herod in NBC's "Jesus Christ Superstar Live!" which will air on Easter Sunday, April 1.

Cooper, who has released 26 albums and sold more than 50 million records throughout his career, had previously recorded "King Herod's Song" for the 2000 release of a cast album from the 1996 production of "Jesus Christ Superstar" in the U.K. at the explicit request of Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice.

"Alice Cooper, whose theatricality is the stuff of legend, is the perfect rock star to play Herod in our live production," said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment.

"Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice wrote a showstopping musical number for Herod, and we all look forward to the 'King of Shock Rock' taking on the King of Judea. As the casting for Superstar ramps up, we can feel the excitement building for this brand new concert experience of what has long been considered the original rock musical," he added.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the live stage production will also be joined by British theatre director David Leveaux, a five-time Tony Award nominee.

Cooper, who changed his name legally from Vince Furnier, is known for his macabre theatrics on stage, but he has denied that his performances were "satanic." The famed rocker maintained that his act was never political or religious and always had "a sense of humor."

In an interview with the evangelical Christian program The Harvest Show, Cooper explained that despite the dark aspects of some of his early music, the songs had warned against Satan, and there were Christian messages being conveyed about the battle between good and evil.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer had previously revealed that he had been raised in a Christian home, but he was not personally committed. He returned to Christianity in the mid-1980s when he tried to quit drinking alcohol, but he said that the decision was initially "more out of fear of God, rather than the love of God."

The shock rocker said he now views his faith as "an ongoing thing," but he tries to avoid what he describes as "celebrity Christianity" because being a part of it would make it "really easy to focus on Alice Cooper and not on Christ." The singer said that people should not look to him for answers as he considers himself to be "low on the totem pole of knowledgeable Christians."

Cooper has been described in some reports as a devoted family man, devout churchgoer, astute businessman and restaurateur. When he is not touring or recording in the studio, he and his wife help local children put on a big stage-production each year.

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