SAINT LUCIA (March 29, 2012)- Among the great things that can happen to enhance the pull effect of an international music festival is a critically acclaimed new release from one of its headliners, right on the eve of the event. When that headliner has such star power that despite decades in the business, the vitriolic the rise and fall of over hundreds of other chartbusters, and the fluidity of the contemporary music business fails to dim his light, the festival producers know they are on to a good thing. Moreso, when your headliner brings in his own promotional network of international partners to run special offers and promotions around the festival, everyone is in for a win-win.
After ten months in studio, the R&B music and country world thrilled at the long anticipated release of TUSKEGEE, Lionel Richie’s new full length compilation which The Beat columnist Melinda Newman sees as challenging, if not eclipsing a number of top country acts on new versions of his classic tunes.
Another Richie bonus for Saint Lucia Jazz is a current promotion by SiriusXM Radio to coincide with the launch of the new record. It gives the winner the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not just see Lionel Richie live but to do so in Saint Lucia. The full slate of winnings includes a round trip for two , two night's hotel accommodations, two tickets for the May 13th Pigeon Island show and an autographed copy of "Tuskegee."
The Sirius XM radio value to Saint Lucia Jazz is in the ‘sirius’ coverage facilitated by its satellite transmission of commercial free content, covering the USA coast to coast and Canada. Through optimal integration of radio and mobile technologies, Sirius XM radio also services audiences who access entertainment media via their mobile handsets. Contrary to popular belief, this demographic does not comprise mainly fad-oriented teenagers, but millions of business and busy people on the move. That guarantees some ‘sirius’ promotion for both the festival and the destination in a major source market.
Lionel Richie’s appeal begins with his sheer genius as a lyricist. The natural affinity to his lyrical themes have endeared Richie to many an R&B Star but even more so to Country greats. The result has been a high number of chart ranking remakes of Richie songs by popular singers. This trend has had the effect of cementing Richie’s place among the world’s most loved and sung balladeers. With the vast popularity of Country, TUSKEGEE was a project that begged to be produced. This ‘album of duets’ brings a double star power to no less than thirteen Richie classics, with the legend himself as the constant on every track.
Among the names performing with him on both Commodores hits and post Commodore Richie solos are Willie Nelson, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and Jimmy Buffett. The album also reunites Richie with Kenny Rogers, who took Richie's "Lady" to the top of three Billboard charts in 1980: country, Hot 100 and adult contemporary. Tracks on TUSKEGEE include gems like “You Are”, “Say You, Say Me” “Stuck On You”, “Deep River Woman” ,“My Love” “Dancing On The Ceiling”, “Hello” ,“Sail On”, “Endless Love”, “Just For You” “Lady” “Easy” and “All Night Long”. An island-flavored version of “Endless Love” featuring Shania Twain promises to be a breath of fresh air because of its timelessness in the first instance and because it is the first time Twain’s audiences will hear her in a long time after a prolonged troubling vocal paralysis issue which kept her off stage for too long.
The timing of the release of TUSKEGEE sparks fresh focus on the star as a ‘must have’ feature for festival producers. Moreover it reawakens the desire for an evening of complete immersion in the pure unadulterated ‘love’ that Richie is about whenever the spotlight goes on. Echoes of TUSKEGEE promises an “all night long” feel good vibe at Pigeon Island on Sunday May 15th.
For more information on the full line-up for Saint Lucia Jazz 2012 along with sponsors, show dates, venues, and ticket sales log onto www.stluciajazz.org.