SOUL QUEEN: Mary J Blige has been named as a Bluesfest headliner next year.
SOUL QUEEN: Mary J Blige has been named as a Bluesfest headliner next year. LAURENT GILLIERON

Blige's Bluesfest debut

R&B SUPERSTAR Mary J Blige will be making her Bluesfest debut in 2017.

The iconic Grammy Award winner, singer, songwriter, actress and philanthropist has been confirmed for the Tyagarah music festival next Easter.

She joins Mexican-American musician Carlos Santana and American band The Doobie Brothers, which also were added last week to the 2017 Bluesfest line-up.

Australian audiences will also get acquainted with Blige's acting skills this year as American TV series How to Get Away with Murder has teased she will join the third season.

Mary J Blige has amassed an impressive eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards, 32 Grammy nominations, a 2012 Golden Globe nomination and five American Music Awards.

She has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and is responsible for a plethora of hit singles including Be Without You, No More Drama, Not Gon' Cry, Love Is All We Need, Seven Days, All That I Can Say, Family Affair and Just Fine.

Pop music lovers got introduced to Blige's music in her duet with George Michael for the successful hit single As in 1998.

Her most recent release and 13th studio album The London Sessions (2014) went to No.1 on the iTunes R&B Chart, and was included in Billboard's 10 Best R&B Albums of 2014.

Other names added to the Bluesfest 2017 line-up are:

Corinne Bailey Rae

BRITISH singer Corinne Bailey Rae is coming to Australia to perform for the first time at Bluesfest in 2017.

With more than five million albums sold, two-time Grammy winner Bailey Rae released her self-titled debut album in 2006, reaching number one in the UK and number four in the US. The album featured the global hits Put Your Records On and Like A Star.

Originally the front-woman of an indie band, Bailey Rae's music spans electronic, soul and experimental genres.

She has completed her highly anticipated third studio album The Heart Speaks In Whispers which debuted at No.3 on Billboard's R&B chart.

Featuring Been To The Moon, The Skies Will Break and Green Aphrodisiac, NPR named it one of the 30 albums of the year so far. The album has gained worldwide acclaim, garnering four and five-star reviews.

Michael Kiwanuka

BRITISH soul musician Michael Kiwanuka returns to Bluesfest after his 2013 performances created a huge buzz around the festival.

He has been compared to Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, Randy Newman, Terry Callier and Otis Redding, as well as Van Morrison and the Temptations.

Kiwanuka has the rare honour of having both his debut record Home Again and his sophomore record Love & Hate nominated for the Mercury Prize.

Nahko And Medicine For The People

NORTHERN Rivers audiences are well aware of American alt roots superstar Nahko and Medicine for the People.

The band, which has spent time in Byron Bay and the Northern Rivers in the past, is returning to Bluesfest with its worldly blend of rock, hip-hop, and alt-folk and will be bringing the new album Hoka.

Oregon-born singer-songwriter Nahko, who is of Puerto Rican, Native American (Apache), and Filipino descent described the new album Hoka, as "the soundtrack of the movement for a better planet".



CHRISTOPHER Gallant, better known by his last name simply as Gallant, is an American singer-songwriter from Columbia who will also be making his Australian debut at the festival in 2017.

Named by Billboard as the No.1 performance of Coachella in 2016, Gallant has garnered accolades for his exceptional voice from artists such as Elton John, John Legend, and Seal.

His rise has been meteoric, finding his way on to the stages of US TV show The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

The young Los Angeles artist identifies his music as future soul, bridging the contemporary productions with old-school songwriting.

The Suffers


THE Suffers is an American soul band from Houston, Texas, consisting of Kam Franklin, Adam Castaneda, Alex Zamora, Kevin Bernier, Cory Wilson, Jon Durbin, Michael Razo, Jose Luna, Patrick Kelly, and Nick Zamora.

Houston's award-winning 10-piece ensemble is set to bring the house down at its Bluesfest debut.

The Suffers has redefined the sound of Gulf Coast Soul and is as much influenced by classic rock'n' roll, country, Latin and Southern hip hop.

Established in 2011, The Suffers officially released the much-anticipated self-titled album this year.



OTHER artists previously announced for the festival are Zac Brown Band, Patti Smith performing Horses, The Lumineers, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, Billy Bragg, Jethro Tull plus Trombone Shorty And Orleans Avenu. The festival's artist daily playing schedule is available on

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