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Bettye LaVette will take the Black Arts Fest MKE stage on Saturday, Aug. 3. (PHOTO: Mark Seliger)

Black Arts Fest MKE adds soul singer Bettye LaVette as headlining act

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Black Arts Fest MKE today announced that R&B singer Bettye LaVette will take the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, joining Sisters With Voices as headlining acts for the second-year festival found on the Summerfest grounds.

Born in Michigan, LaVette has crafted an impressive and still growing career out of mainly powerful covers ranging all genres – from artists like Dolly Parton, Aimee Mann, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Elton John and, in the case of her latest album, 2018's "Things Have Changed," Bob Dylan, each time adding her own Southern soul and flavor to their hits and buried B-side gems.

Most recently, "Things Have Changed" earned LaVette two Grammy nominations this past year for Best Americana Album as well as Best Traditional R&B Performance for "Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight," taking her grand nominations total to five across her accomplished music career.

She's also performed at the Kennedy Center Honors – tributing Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend in 2008 with a cover of "Love, Reign o'er Me" – as well as at Obama's inaugural celebration with a duet of "A Change Is Gonna Come" alongside Bon Jovi. And now, she'll perform at Black Arts Fest MKE this August.

Celebrating its second year along the lakefront, Black Arts Fest MKE is a family-friendly festival focused on African-American heritage, community and culture in Milwaukee. This year's edition will run from noon until midnight on the Summerfest grounds on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Advance adult tickets are currently on sale for $9, with the price bumping up to $12 at the gate, while admission for those ages 8-11 as well as 60 and older costs $8. Children 7 years old and younger, as well as military members and veterans with photo ID and proof of service, are admitted free at the gate. All tickets, as well as additional information on vendors, performers and artists, are available online at Black Arts Fest MKE's website.


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