The Macy's Music Festival lineup will mix young and older acts, as well as musical genres this year.
Former Gap Band lead singer Charlie Wilson, a mix of old-school and contemporary and a huge hit last year, will return to headline the first night of the two-night festival, July 29 and 30 in Paul Brown Stadium.
Frankie Beverly and Maze, the most-requested artist by fans of the Macy's Music Festival, will return to the second night. Beverly has visited the festival all but one year out of the seven years it has been at Paul Brown Stadium.
"The blending of the classic R&B, the neo-soul, a couple of new artists and El DeBarge - I think he's certainly going through a rebirth," said festival organizer Joe Santangelo. "I think it should be another good year."
The only uncertainty in the lineup is R&B singer DeBarge, slated for July 30, who checked himself into rehab last month. DeBarge told the Associated Press that he has battled drug addiction for two decades. The soul star canceled his current tour, including a stop at the Aronoff Center last week. But Santangelo is confident he'll be here in July.
"They're telling me that by May 1, he expects to be back working," Santangelo said. "He's got a chance at a new career here, and I'm hopeful that once he gets over this hiccup, he won't blow things."
Another festival newcomer will be neo-soul singer Anthony Hamilton, an energetic performer appearing July 29. The opening night lineup also welcomes back Chaka Khan, The Whispers and the Zapp Band.
On Saturday, Keyshia Cole returns. And newcomer Laura Izabor will be here singing songs from her new album.
Shows are 7:30 p.m. in the stadium. Tickets ($48, $68 and $88) go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ticketmaster centers, 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.
Information: www.macysmusicfestival.com, 513-924-0900 or 800-452-3132.