'Ross and Braxton replace Lionel Richie who has cited other engagements'

SAINT LUCIA (April 13, 2012)- Presenting sponsor for Saint Lucia Jazz - the Saint Lucia Tourist Board is thrilled to announce the introduction of iconic and legendary diva, singer, record producer and actress Diana Ross to close out the 21st edition of Saint Lucia Jazz. Additional star power to Saint Lucia Jazz is also coming with the inclusion of Grammy award winner, singer-songwriter, Toni Braxton who joins accomplished South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and the WESPE POU AYITI PROJECT on the final day of the event.

The new entries reignite the Jazz festival line-up following the withdrawal of Lionel Richie, who cited his unavailability in order to pursue other professional opportunities, the timing of which clashes with the dates of Saint Lucia Jazz. Richie's cancellation of his appearance in Saint Lucia on May 13th is one of 15 others during the month of May. The artiste remains very apologetic regarding this cancellation and is working with Saint Lucia to manage the public relations surrounding this.

Tourism Director Louis Lewis says, "While we were disheartened at the withdrawal of Lionel Richie, we acknowledge that this goes with the territory in the music industry. On the flip side, we are delighted to announce the additions of Diana Ross – a legend in her own right and songstress Toni Braxton, a multiple Grammy winner.

Diana Ross has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and is the recipient of the 2012 Grammy Awards, Lifetime Achievement Award. She garnered fame as the lead singer of the legendary Motown group 'The Supremes' during the 1960s. Ross began a solo career in the 1970s that has included successful ventures into film and Broadway. Billboard magazine has named her the "Female Entertainer of the Century and in 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Diana Ross the most successful female music artist in history due to her success in the United States and United Kingdom for having more hits than any female artiste in the charts with a career total of 18 number one records in the United States.

Toni Braxton has sold over 40 million records worldwide, won seven American Music Awards and five Billboard Music Awards. This soulful R&B artiste first topped the Billboard 200 with her 1993 self-titled debut album and continued that streak with her second studio album Secrets, which spawned the number-one hits "You're Makin' Me High" and "Un-Break My Heart". In 2009, Braxton returned to the spotlight with "Yesterday", a #12 R&B hit which serves as the first single off her new album Pulse, released on May 4, 2010, which debuted at #1 on Billboard R&B Album Chart.

Other musical heavy weights for Saint Lucia Jazz 2012 include: - 5 time Grammy winning artiste Ziggy Marley - the son of iconic reggae legend Bob Marley; jazz aficionado Joshua Redman; hit R&B song writer turned performer and soulful songstress Keri Hilson; pop and gospel king Kirk Franklin and hip-hop phenom Melanie Fiona among others. A slue of Saint Lucia's leading musical masterminds likeLuther Francois, Ronald 'Boo' Hinkson, Derek Yarde Project and others complement the cast.

For more information on the full line-up for Saint Lucia Jazz 2012 along with show dates, venues and ticket sales, log onto www.stluciajazz.org.