BIRMINGHAM, AL (CelebrityAccess) – The Music of the World Games has announced the addition of superstar Lionel Richie as a featured performer at this year’s event. The Alabama native is set to return to “Sweet Home Alabama” to headline The World Games closing ceremony on July 17th at Protective Stadium. Richie’s return to his home state will be his first in over twenty years.
“I’m honored to join all the talented artists performing at The World Games Closing Ceremony, and headlining the closing ceremonies is truly special. I am so excited to be coming home to perform in Alabama,” says Richie via a news release.
A group of veteran recording artists partnered with The World Games Youth Choir & Adult Choirs to reveal “Hope Of Alabama” as the official theme song of the upcoming games. Produced by World Games Artistic Director Dr. Henry Panion III and written by Alabama’s Randy Owen, his daughter Allison Owen, and Panion.
The World Games will kick off July 7th at Protective Stadium and include a series of iconic performers and once in a lifetime moments, including legendary country group Alabama; a unique duet between Blind Boys of Alabama and Jamey Johnson, American Idols Bo Bice, Taylor Hicks, and Ruben Studdard on stage together for the first time, Martha Reeves performing “Dancing in the Sheets” and a performance from rising rapper Yung Bleu. Additionally, Nelly, Sara Evans, Sheila E., Tony! Toni! Tone! and Yolanda Adams will be performing during the opening ceremonies.
Funk legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins will serve as Master of Ceremonies and help guide audiences through a musical and theatrical presentation celebrating the musical history of Birmingham, AL.
The games will conclude on July 17th with a grand finale of The World Games 2022 – One World-One People: Celebrating Legacy, Achievement & Unity. The final presentation will include the ceremonial passing of The World Games flag to the 2025 host city representatives: Chengdu, China.