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Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice discuss 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

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April 4, 2014. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, left, and lyricist Tim Rice announce the new "Jesus Christ Superstar" North American arena tour at a press conference and performance in New York. (The Associated Press)

Forty years ago, "Jesus Christ Superstar" became a cultural icon and musical pillar, gaining legions of fans. It's been performed on stage, it's been adapted into a feature film, and now it's being turned into an arena rock extravaganza!

Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber sat down with ET to talk about the new production, and about the controversy the project stirred when the "JCS" album was first released in 1970.

The story tells the last few days in the life of Jesus Christ, in the form of a catchy, rollicking rock opera. While its fan base is huge, it did stir controversy in the days of its inception from religious organizations believing it to be offensive.

"I mean the people who protested loudly, most loudly, tended to be the ones who hadn't seen it," said Rice. "And they would turn up at theaters with banners and saying, 'Jesus was God.' Which we weren't denying. They tended to be people who were more shocked with the idea that Rock music, with all its connotations of sex, drugs, rock and roll and all that, could dare to deal with something like the story of Jesus."

Clearly, any controversy that did arise couldn't put a damper on people's adoration for the rock musical, as it's enjoyed over four decades of attention and stardom. Check out the video for more from Rice and Webber, and from some of the show's stars, including Brandon Boyd and JC Chasez.

The North American arena tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's groundbreaking Rock musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" will hit the road this summer. The 50 city tour kicks off in New Orleans on June 9.

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