UPDATE: Mary J. Blige is back on the Lovers & Friends festival lineup, now with a higher billing. After saying on Thursday that her inclusion on the lineup was in “error,” Blige reappeared on the festival’s website on Friday (Jan. 26) alongside original headliner Janet Jackson and the also newly elevated Alicia Keys. Backstreet Boys and Usher appeared atop the first lineup and have now been tucked on the lower lines.
Blige cheekily responded to her reinstatement on the lineup through an Instagram Story on Friday with two emojis: a smirking face and a bag of money.
ORIGINAL: Mary J. Blige says she appreciates all the kind words from fans after her name was included on the stacked lineup for this year’s Lovers & Friends festival in Las Vegas on May 4. Unfortunately, the singer said in an Instagram Story on Thursday (Jan. 25) that was a mistake.
“I am beyond humbled by the response from all of you about the announcement of me on Lovers & Friends Festival,” she wrote. “Unfortunately my inclusion was an error as I will be busy in preparation for my Strength of a Woman Summit just one week later! I have the greatest fans in the world and can’t wait to see you in New York in a few short months!”
Blige dropped the sizzle reel for this year’s Strength of a Woman Summit last week, though the exact dates and lineup for this year’s event have not yet been announced.
At press time a spokesperson for Lovers & Friends had not returned Billboard‘s request for comment on Blige’s statement. Source close to Blige tell Billboard that her representatives have demanded the removal of their client’s name from the poster multiple times in the past 24 hours to no avail.
The lineup for the third edition of the massive show slated to take place on May 24 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds features Janet Jackson, Usher (performing Confessions), Backstreet Boys, Lil Wayne (performing Tha Carter III), Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys, Nelly Furtado, Nas, Ludacris, Ciara, Nelly and many more.
Last year’s second annual Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit in Atlanta featured Ms. Lauryn Hill, Summer Walker, Lucky Daye, Coco Jones and Muni Long as part of a two-night concert event at State Farm Arena, as well as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop with Jodeci, Busta Rhymes, Jeezy, Jadakiss, Method Man and DJ Drama.
Blige’s agent is Jim Osborne at IAG and her lawyer is Dina LaPolt.
The post “Mary J. Blige Is Back on the Lovers & Friends Lineup With Higher Billing” by Gil Kaufman was published on 01/26/2024 by www.billboard.com