Q Magazine

Mary J. Blige Mistakenly Included on Lovers & Friends Festival Announcement

The massive Las Vegas festival will feature sets from Usher, Janet Jackson, Lil Wayne and Gwen Stefani...though Blige is otherwise engaged.

mary j blige
Source: MEGA
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Las Vegas’ massive hip-hop and R&B festival Lovers & Friends announced a star-studded lineup for its 2024 edition on Jan. 24, with Janet Jackson, Usher, Lil Wayne, Nas, Gwen Stefani and the Backstreet Boys all booked to appear at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on May 4. Just one problem: Mary J. Blige, who was included in bold font on the festival poster, is not scheduled to perform.

It’s unclear how the mix-up occurred, though Billboard reported that Blige’s representatives made multiple attempts to contact the festival to have the poster updated, without success. Instead, Blige addressed the erroneous booking directly via an Instagram Story on Jan. 25.

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mary j blige
Source: MEGA

Blige will perform at the Strength of a Woman Summit in New York City, she says.

“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!”

(For what it’s worth, the Strength of a Woman Festival and Summit, which takes place on Mother’s Day weekend, has yet to announce its lineup. Though considering Blige has performed at both of the festival's previous incarnations, and indeed started the festival herself in 2022, it shouldn't count as much of a surprise to learn that she will be headlining again.)

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Source: MEGA

Usher will perform his blockbuster 'Confessions' album in full at Lovers & Friends.

The poster on the Lovers & Friends website has since been updated. And in all fairness, the fest has a considerably packed lineup even without Blige. Usher, who will be fresh from his Super Bowl Halftime Show duties, will be performing his diamond-certified Confessions album in full, while Lil Wayne is tackling his blockbuster album Tha Carter 3. In addition to the aforementioned headliners, the festival will also include sets from Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Brandy, Eve, Rick Ross, TLC, SWV, 6lack, Jodeci, Sean Paul, Kelly Rowland, Ciara, Redman & Method Man, Ashanti, Ja Rule, Nelly…it might be easier just to list the ‘90s and early ‘00s R&B radio staples who will not be included on the bill. Mary J. Blige, for one.

Presales for the festival will commence on Friday, Jan. 26, with a public onsale to follow.


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