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Showco Lighting Director

Allen Branton is a 30 year veteran of the entertainment lighting business with hundreds of successful projects to his credit. Working in many genres from comedy to major rock tours, he is seen to be equally proficient with both live events and television.

Branton is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas. His father and younger brother are both practicing architects and his parents probably expected that he would pursue something equally respectable.

After stints as a student and teenage musician/ band leader, Branton moved to Dallas in 1973 to join the newly formed lighting department at Showco, Inc. Quickly showing his capability as a lighting director, by age 23 he had served in that capacity for the Beach Boys, Three Dog Night, Leon Russell, The Guess Who, and Mountain. During his final year with Showco, he served as advance man for The Who's U.S. Tour and Paul McCartney's "Wings Over America". Leaving Dallas in 1977, Branton launched a free-lance career, designing for Alice Cooper, Burton Cummings, Bread, Ben Vereen, and Diana Ross in the next two years.

Branton first forayed into television with a Diana Ross HBO special in 1979, and then with "Diana" in 1981, a CBS special for which he was nominated for an Emmy. His six CableACE nominations for lighting include HBO productions of "Sting in Tokyo" (1989) and "Madonna Live!", for which he won the 1990 award; then two nominations in 1992 for "The MTV Movie Awards" and Disney's "Gloria Estefan - Going Home".

Beginning in 1991, Branton designed dozens of episodes of MTV's inexplicably adult "UNplugged" music series, a 1993 CableACE lighting nominee; and since 1989 their prestigious "Video Music Awards", the 1993 CableACE winner for lighting. Recent television productions include the Halftime celebration for the 2003 Super Bowl.

Though television has claimed more of his attention in recent years. Branton has continued to work as a concert lighting designer right up to the present. His touring clients since 1980 include Diana Ross, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, the Oak Ridge Boys, The Bee Gees, Judas Priest, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, The Who, Paul Simon, Vince Gill, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Marc Anthony and Bette Midler. Branton has been nominated by Performance Magazine readers as Lighting Designer of the Year eight times, winning in 1981, '82, '87, and '91.

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