Richie to hit high notes at grand final replay
Karl QuinnSeptember 30, 2010
American crooner Lionel Richie, who'll provide the pre-AFL grand final replay entertainment on Saturday.
LIONEL Richie will perform once, twice (but not three times) at the stadii, with the multi-Grammy Award winner to provide both pre- and post-game entertainment for the grand final replay.
The AFL yesterday confirmed Richie, whose best-known hits include Three Times a Lady and Hello, would be the headline musical act at Saturday's big game at the MCG. The deal to bring him here has been brokered by Michael Gudinski's Frontier Touring, and the free entertainment at AAMI stadium has been facilitated by the Victorian Government (though it is not contributing to the cost of bringing Richie here).
''It is a great honour to be invited to perform at such an historic event in Australian football,'' Richie said in a statement issued via the AFL yesterday. ''I am incredibly fortunate to have been available for this once-in-a-lifetime experience to share my music with my fans.''
AFL Grand Final entertainers
2005 AFL Grand Final Sydney V West Coast pre game entertainment from Dame Edna. Photo: Wayne Taylor
Richie performed on Tuesday night in Hong Kong, but Gudinski dismissed suggestions that it was a case of securing the big-name artist simply because he was in the neighbourhood.
''New Zealand is in the neighbourhood. Hong Kong is still a 10-hour flight away. He's cancelled recording commitments to be here,'' he said.
Richie will bring his full band and will perform at least three songs at the MCG before the game. After the match, he and the band will again perform in a mini-concert likely to last about 30 minutes at the nearby AAMI Park. Artists performing at the grand final often use backing tracks, but Gudinski promised Richie's performance "will be fully live''.
''Lionel absolutely cherishes live events, and he's so keen to see this game. Unfortunately, the AFL wouldn't grant him his wish to be allowed to perform in a St Kilda jumper.''
The grand final shows will be Richie's only performances in Australia on this visit.
The AFL could not confirm if any other acts would perform at the grand final. There is no truth, however, to the rumour that Sarah Murdoch will announce the winner of the game.
Who should the AFL have brought in for the Grand Final? Post us a comment below...
Source: The Age
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