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Mary J. Blige Won’t Appear at 2024 Lovers & Friends Festival: ‘My Inclusion Was an Error’

The musician was announced as a high-tier performer at the Las Vegas event, but states that she will be busy preparing for a separate engagement and thus won’t be performing

Earlier this week, the music festival Lovers & Friends announced the nostalgia-filled lineup for its 2024 iteration, returning to Las Vegas in May. Among the big-name artists on the announcement graphics appeared Mary J. Blige — but the musician shared a statement with fans on Thursday morning stating that her inclusion was a mistake.

“I am beyond humbled by the response from all of you about the announcement of me on Lovers & Friends Festival,” Blige wrote in an Instagram Story. “Unfortunately my inclusion was an error as I will be busy in preparation for my Strength of a Woman Summit just one week later! I have the greatest fans in the world and I can’t wait to see you in New York in a few short months!”

Representatives for Mary J. Blige and Lovers & Friends did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

Now in its third year, Lovers & Friends has yet to work out all of its kinks. Last year, Lil Jon considered a potential lawsuit against Live Nation, which promotes the Vegas event, over the festival using the same name as his 2004 hit with Ludacris and Usher, “Lovers & Friends.” In 2022, a false alarm gun scare at the festival led to crowd panic that left three attendees hospitalized with minor injuries.

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And in 2020, when the first-ever Lovers & Friends lineup was officially announced, several singers and rappers publicly claimed that they were unaware of their own involvement in the event. Some stated that they had never been notified about the festival and hadn’t received a deposit payment, while others noted dissatisfaction with the lineup itself.

But Lovers & Friends 2024 is still set for May 4 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. The festival will feature headlining performances from Backstreet Boys, Janet Jackson, and Usher, with additional appearances from Lil Wayne, Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg, Nelly Furtado, and more.

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