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Hard Rock Calling 2010: Stevie Wonder to headline

Stevie Wonder

Story by Jack Foley

STEVIE Wonder is to stage the biggest 60th birthday party ever when he headlines Hard Rock Calling in London on Saturday, June 26 in Hyde Park.

An estimated 50,000 fans are expected to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the music legend as he celebrates six decades on planet earth this year.

Wonder will be joined by a galaxy of stars on the same bill to help him celebrate, including Jamiroquai, James Morrison and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Tickets will go on sale at 9am on Friday, March 26.

Having sold out The O2 Arena London twice last year and with more than 30 Top 10 hits and two dozen GRAMMY® Awards and countless humanitarian accolades, Stevie Wonder will return to London for his first ever open-air London festival.

Jamiroquai, meanwhile, has often cited Stevie Wonder as a musical hero of his and Jay Kay will take to the Hard Rock Calling stage for his first performance in the UK in many years, thereby taking a break from the process of recording his eighth studio album.

BRIT Award winning singer/songwriter James Morrison will return to Hard Rock Calling for the second consecutive year but is looking forward to supporting Stevie Wonder.

He commented: “Stevie Wonder is one of those rare artists who only come along once in a lifetime and who many will try to emulate and imitate but will never better.

“Alongside Michael Jackson, Stevie started so many musical trends. His vocal style, his melodies and his amazing musicianship cross all boundaries. Stevie is, and always will be, a legend and I’m honoured and excited to be playing with him in Hyde Park.”

Corinne Bailey Rae, meanwhile, will be playing hits from her second album, The Sea, which was released to widespread acclaim in January.

Commenting on her appearance, she said: “I’m so excited to be playing with Stevie! I have been lucky enough to watch him play from the side of the stage before and it was amazing. His songs and his voice are so beautiful, it’s a real honour to be chosen to support him.”

Hard Rock Calling is produced by Live Nation and presented by Hard Rock International. Stevie Wonder’s headline Saturday slot follows Pearl Jam’s Friday show and comes before Sir Paul McCartney headlines the Sunday.