Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Lionel Richie, Lenny Kravitz, Will Young and James Blunt to headline Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park

09/09/2011: Lionel Richie is no longer performing due to ill health. Gary Barlow will now be headlining – see updated press for latest details

BBC Radio 2 today announces that Will Young will join a star-studded line-up of UK and international artists, including Lionel Richie and Lenny Kravitz, to perform at Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park on 11 September. The concert promises to be one of the summers live music highlights in London. Will who has sold over 8 million records will be playing a selection of classic hits alongside new songs from his album, Echoes.

Will Young said: "I'm really looking forward to Radio 2's Day out in Hyde Park. There are some amazing acts on the bill and I've no doubt it'll be a great day out for music lovers and London." 

Lionel Richie will be headlining in what will be an exclusive UK performance for 2011, and Lenny Kravitz will also be headlining his first UK performance in almost three years. Jools Holland and his band with special guests Sandie Shaw and Ruby Turner will also be entertaining both listeners and fans in Hyde Park along with Beverley Knight, The Pierces, Bellowhead, Imelda May, James Blunt, Caro Emerald and Jonathan Jeremiah.

This special concert in central London, "A Festival In A Day", is a must for every Radio 2 listener, and celebrates the best of the station's music with one jam-packed day full of live performances from a starry array of top UK and international artists.

This unmissable event will be hosted by Chris Evans with guest appearances from his Radio 2 colleagues and takes place on Sunday 11 September 2011. Lionel Richie – who has sold over 100 million albums – will be performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra. He will be singing his classic hits as well as tracks from his new album of duets with some of the world's biggest country music stars.

Lionel began his singing career with The Commodores in 1968 and went on to achieve phenomenal success as a solo artist achieving eight top ten albums and eight top ten singles in the UK, including a Number One record for Hello, as well as being instrumental in the formation of USA for Africa and the number one single We Are The World. He also received an Oscar for Say You Say Me which he wrote and performed for the film White Nights.

Since his landmark 1989 debut Let Love Rule, singer songwriter and producer Lenny Kravitz has sold over 35 million albums and won four Grammy awards. Kravitz will be touring Europe from October and August sees the release of his ninth album, Black And White America, which will follow the release of his new single, Stand.

Former army officer James Blunt shot to fame in 2005 with his debut album Back To Bedlam and singles, You're Beautiful and Goodbye My Lover. He has won two BRIT Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards, and has been nominated for five Grammys. Worldwide, he has sold over 15 million albums, and in November 2010 released his third album, Some Kind Of Trouble.

Dutch singer, Caro Emerald, released her catchy debut single, Back It Up, in 2009, which immediately became a favourite with Radio 2 listeners. With her unique sound of jazz, hip-hop, mambo, swing and pop, her debut album called Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor set an all-time record on 20 August 2010 by spending its 30th week at number one in the Dutch album chart, beating the previous record set by Michael Jackson's Thriller by one week.

Caro Emerald said: "I'm so excited to be asked to perform at Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park. Radio 2 have been so instrumental in my UK success, this is such an honour to be a part of this celebration."

Jools Holland, who returns with his regular Radio 2 series later in the summer, is pianist and band leader of his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. They will perform with Ruby Turner, one of the UK's finest soul singers, and pop icon Sandie Shaw. Sandie shot to fame in the Sixties with a string of hit records, including reaching number one with Always Something There To Remind Me aged just 17, and became the UK's first Eurovision winner with Puppet On A String.

Contemporary eleven-piece big band, Bellowhead, are renowned for their updated and distinctive treatments of traditional folk and dance tunes. The band members play more than 20 instruments between them and they have been widely acclaimed as one of the UK's best live acts.

With a classic sound that has been compared to Fleetwood Mac and The Mama & The Papas, The Pierces are New York based sisters Catherine and Allison Pierce. Their new album You & I – co-produced by Guy Berryman of Coldplay – recently entered the UK charts at No 4 and contains the hit singles You'll Be Mine and Glorious, plus new release It Will Not Be Forgotten.

Award winning British soul and R&B singer Beverley Knight has sold over a million albums in her career so far. Widely labelled as one of Britain's greatest soul singers, Knight is best known for hit singles including Greatest Day, Shoulda Woulda Coulda and Come As You Are. She released her seventh studio album, Soul UK, in July this year.

Singer-songwriter Jonathan Jeremiah has spent the best part of a decade defining a sound rooted in a rich legacy of bespoke English folk and confessional soul. In March earlier this year London born Jeremiah released his debut album, A Solitary Man.

Chris Evans said: "Radio 2's Hyde Park shows are without a doubt one of the highlights of my year – a beautiful location, an astounding line-up of world class artists including superstar Lionel Richie, and thousands of the great British public coming together to enjoy themselves. What could be better, so come and join the Radio 2 party."

From 3.30pm on the day there will be live coverage of the event on Radio 2 from Hyde Park hosted by among others, Johnnie Walker and Jo Whiley. The broadcast will feature exclusive backstage interviews as well as the very best in live music from the stage.

Lewis Carnie, Head of Programmes, said: "Music is at the heart of Radio 2's output, and with an incredible line-up to be announced in coming weeks, there will be something for everyone at this year's Hyde Park show. And with Lionel Richie headlining the whole event, its a great way to end the summer in style."

For a week afterwards, listeners will be able to hear highlights from the concert across the station's daytime shows. And the Radio 2 website will feature exclusive backstage footage and interviews from the event.

In 2010 Elvis Forever was an unforgettable tribute which featured a special appearance by Priscilla Presley and performances from Sir Tom Jones and Tony Christie. And in 2009, Kylie led an incredible tribute with Thank You For The Music – A Celebration Of The Music Of Abba. Now in its third year, Radio 2 Live In The Park will be another fantastic day of live music.

Event Information:

Sunday 11 September 2010 – Hyde Park, London
Gates open 2.30pm – entertainment on stage from 3.30-10pm
Tickets cost £32.50 plus booking fees

For full ticketing information, go to the Radio 2 website.

Notes to Editors

In Quarter 1 2011, Radio 2 posted its second highest ever RAJAR figures with over 14.54 million listeners from last quarter's 13.94m and last year's record figure of 14.57m


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