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Chaka Khan to curate Meltdown 2024 to celebrate 50 years of music

The Southbank Centre has announced that Chaka Khan will be the curator of Meltdown Festival 2024.

READ MORE: Grace Jones live at Meltdown Festival: brilliant, unbridled chaos from one of the greats

Revealed today (January 28), the announcement makes Khan the 29th artist to curate the annual contemporary music festival, and will see her design this year’s event.

Set to take place between Friday, June 14 and Sunday, June 23, Chaka Khan’s instalment of Meltdown comes as a celebration of her 50-year career, and is set to see the renowned singer bring her voice and global influence to London’s Southbank Centre during the 10 days.

“Get ready to experience the heart and soul of Meltdown 2024, where the magic of music meets the warmth of community. I’m beyond excited to be a part of this legacy, bringing everyone together, young and old, for a summer celebration like no other,” Khan said of her newly announced curatorship in a press release.

“This festival isn’t just about music, it’s a feast for all your senses, a gathering of hearts and souls. The Southbank Centre’s about to light up! We’re going to funk it up, rock every crowd, and touch every soul. It’s a community celebration, an all-ages bash. Join us and immerse yourself in a world that’s vibrant, diverse, and absolutely unforgettable.”

Chaka Khan, 2024. CREDIT: Jo Metson Scott

Adem Holness, Head of Contemporary Music at Southbank Centre also commented on the reveal, adding: “Whoever said ‘never meet your heroes’ clearly never met Chaka Khan. I’ve learnt how important community, activism, love and care are to her so these ideas, along with brilliant music, will be the foundation of Meltdown.

“I can’t believe we get to celebrate 50 years of her legendary career together. Imagine ten nights of her fabulousness, wicked sense of humour and iconic genre-defying music spread across the Southbank Centre. I personally can’t wait!”

The role of curator for the 2024 edition of the contemporary music festival comes 45 years after the singer’s breakthrough eponymous debit ‘Chaka’ in 1978, and in light of 10 Grammy Wins and an induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last year. The first list of artists set to appear at the 2024 instalment is set to be revealed in March.

Running annually since 1993, Meltdown festival has seen collaborations from some of the most renowned names in music – including past curators David Bowie, Robert Smith, Jarvis Cocker, Lou Reed, Jeff Beck and more.

Christine and the Queens at Meltdown 2023
Christine and the Queens at Meltdown 2023. CREDIT: Pete Woodhead

It has also built a reputation for staging unique one-off performances over the years. For instance, Patti Smith famously performed her album ‘Horses’ in full for her curation of Meltdown, and Jeff Buckley played his final ever UK show at Elvis Costello’s edition.

Elsewhere, The New York Dolls reunited at Morrissey’s curation, Nick Cave, Grace Jones and Pete Doherty sang Disney songs with Jarvis Cocker at another edition, and both Robert Smith’s (2018) and Grace Jones’ (2022) instalments were nominated for Music Week Awards Festival of the Year.

Last year’s edition was curated by Christine And The Queens, and featured performances from Sigur Rós, Yemi Alade, Johnny Jewel, Warpaint, Lynks and more.

In other Chaka Khan news, last month the singer revealed that she was leaving her days of touring behind to enjoy “this rich-ass life” and wanted to spend more time with her family.

Earlier in 2023, the singer also teamed up with Bombay Bicycle Club for the track ‘Tekken 2’, which frontman Jack Steadman said he initially felt ‘embarrassed’ about recording.

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