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Alabama native Lionel Richie to headline World Games closing ceremonies

The World Games announced that legendary R&B and pop singer Lionel Richie, a Tuskegee native, was added to its lineup of entertainment for the games’ closing ceremonies.

Richie will headline the grand finale of the World Games on July 17 with a lineup of other Alabama music icons. This will be Richie’s first performance in Alabama in over 20 years.

Additional Alabama artists performing that evening will include country legendary group Alabama. American Idol stars Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard and Bo Bice will all perform together for the first time.

Up and coming rap talent Young Bleu will perform, and Jamey Johnson will be performing a duet with the Blind Boys of Alabama. Martha Reeves will also perform, including a rendition of the hit song “Dancing in the Streets.”

These performers and others will be celebrating the theme of the closing ceremonies — “One World-One People: Celebrating Legacy, Achievement & Unity.”

Richie said in a release, “I’m honored to be joining all the talented artists performing at The World Games Closing Ceremony, and to be headlining the closing ceremonies is truly special. I am so excited to be coming home to perform in Alabama.”

According to a press release, Funk legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins will serve as Master of Ceremonies and guide audiences through a musical and theatrical presentation celebrating the rich musical and cultural history of Birmingham.

The entertainment line for the opening and closing ceremonies also includes the following musical artists:

  • Worth the Wait
  • Nelly
  • Sara Evans
  • Sheila E.
  • Tony! Toni! Tone!
  • Yolanda Adams
  • Pastor Mike Jr.

The World Games are held every four years the year following each Summer Olympic Games. They include more than 30 unique, multi-disciplinary sports and feature more than 3,000 athletes.

The opening and closing ceremonies will be held in the recently opened Protective Stadium in Birmingham. Tickets for the events are on sale now.

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