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Jay-Z + Rihanna to Headline Festival for 2012 Olympic Games

Rihanna Jay-Z
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Global superstars Jay-Z and Rihanna are about to capture the world’s attention with headlining gigs at BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend, a festival in support of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. An estimated 100,000 fans are expected to attend in the Hackney event in London on June 23-24. Other performers confirmed for the fest include Florence + the Machine, David Guetta, and Jessie J.

Jay-Z headlines the June 23 lineup, while RiRi headlines the following day. It’s not clear if RiRi and Jay-Z will take the stage together at some point, but that’s a good bet since the rapper originally signed Rihanna and the two have recorded several songs together. More than two dozen acts will perform on six stages over two days. Also on the lineup are Swedish House Mafia, Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey and Flo Rida.

“There will be absolutely something for everyone: from Beethoven to Jay-Z, from Shakespeare to (film director) Mike Leigh,” Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said at a news conference. Comedians Stephen Fry and Tim Minchin will also be performing at other venues around England.

British officials recognize the historic nature of the Olympics and have scheduled several arts and culture events in the days leading up to the Olympics, which open on July 27. “The London 2012 Festival will be the biggest cultural celebration in our lifetime,” said Royal Opera House Chief Executive Tony Hall.

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