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17 April 2024

Chaka Khan Announces New Artists For Meltdown 2024

Chaka Khan Meltdown New Artists
Photo: Stefan Craemer/Alamy Stock Photo
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Chaka Khan’s Meltdown continues to grow in style and spectacle with new names and two weekends of free events, taking place at the Southbank Centre from Friday 14 June until Sunday 23 June.

In the Royal Festival Hall, Chaka Khan has invited multi-award-winning and chart topping soul singer Emeli Sandé (15 June) to perform as part of the festival. To date, she has sold 19 million singles including three UK No.1 singles, 6 million albums and won four BRIT Awards (including Best Female twice).

Elsewhere, frontman of The Range and multi-hyphenate musician and songwriter Bruce Hornsby (18 June) joins the bill. With no signs of slowing, Bruce Hornsby has released 23 albums and over 11 million copies sold worldwide. In 1995, he wrote Love Me Still with Chaka Khan with the pair performing together in 2007 in his native Williamsburg. Finally, War (21 June, RFH) top off the Royal Festival Hall concerts. Led by Leroy “Lonnie” Jordan, the group transcended the transcended racial and cultural barriers of the 1970s with its multi-genre approach and songs tackling social inequality.

In the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, there’ll be standing gigs from Malian supergroup Les Amazones d’Afrique (14 June), who made an explosive return earlier this year with the bass-laden Musow Danse; indie crossover artist Master Peace (15 June) who released the hi-NRG hit I Might Be Fake with Georgia in 2023; and Black feminist punk band Big Joanie (22 June), who made their Southbank Centre debut as part of Grace Jones’ Meltdown in 2022.

Transforming late at night, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer will host a number of expressive and energetic club nights, running until the early hours. Hosting the festival’s opening night party will be legendary DJ Norman Jay with special guests (14 June). Elsewhere during the festival, there will be takeovers from hedonistic techno powerhouse Adonis (15 June) and Queer Bruk and friends, including special guest Amorphous (21 June), who return after their joyous club night as part of David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane anniversary celebrations at the Southbank Centre last year.

The Purcell Room in the Queen Elizabeth Hall will feature an exciting raft of established and emerging talent in an intimate, up-close setting. Artists include French-Senegalese singer and artist Anaiis (16 June), subtle yet astounding vocalist Sipho (19 June), Stormzy and Sam Smith collaborator Reuben James (20 June), and female and non-binary jam night Penge Femme Jam (23 June).

In addition, Chaka Khan has curated a free programme for her Meltdown inspired by her commitment to well-being and young people, with a healthy dose of dance to bring London’s communities together.

Among the free performances are SWANA party collective Habibti Nation hosts Tell Me Something Good: a spirited mash-up of house and disco and with darbuka drums, Egyptian mahraganat and Algerian raï (14 June). On Saturday 15, London Queer Sound System Day (LQSD) will feature a stacked line-up of DJs from some of the most influential LGBTQI+ collectives as well as a special appearance from Taka Boom while, on Sunday 16, under-18 dance battle group New Movementz UK hosts a full day of fun workshops to sharpen the audience’s hip hop skills before dancers take to the floor to compete across three categories in dance battles.

The new names join an already buzzing line-up for Chaka Khan’s Meltdown. In addition to two concerts by the curator herself, including her opening night concert with newly announced special guest DJ Trevor Nelson (14 June), the festival will feature performances from Speakers Corner Quartet, Incognito, Lady Blackbird, Morcheeba, Balimaya Project, Judi Jackson, Mica Paris and Rahsaan Patterson.

Commenting on the latest artists to join the line-up, Chaka Khan said: “We’re a world of beauty and wonderful things. Each of us makes up parts of a bouquet. Let’s celebrate our diversity with the best of the best, from pop to punk to tech to funk. The summer nights and days flowing with our world of family, friends and a whole lotta love.”

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