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No ‘Babyface’ at Charm City Live after all, Baltimore officials announce

Mayor Brandon Scott announces the lineup for the upcoming Charm City Live Music and Arts Festival, which will be held on September 24 at War Memorial Plaza. Shelonda Stokes, right, is president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. August 23, 2022

A city official announced Friday that Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds will not be performing in Baltimore at the new Charm City Live festival, a free, single-day event featuring musicians with national reputations that debut Saturday, Sept. 24, at the War Memorial Plaza in Baltimore from noon to 8 p.m.

“Due to miscommunication between the City of Baltimore and Charm City Live Promoter Blackout Management, we were mistakenly under the impression that Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds was confirmed to perform for our event,” Monica Lewis, the city’s senior director of communications, wrote on the Baltimore City Recreation & Parks’ Facebook page.

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“We sincerely apologize to Mr. Edmonds and the fans for the initial announcement of his participation and any inconvenience the announcement may have caused.”

Mayor Brandon Scott initially announced the event last month, which will take place from noon to 8 p.m. Charm City Live will include live performances, a kids’ zone and food from local eateries.

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Scott said the new festival is aimed at celebrating the melting pot of the vibrant cultures that make up Charm City.

“I am excited to have Charm City Live be another opportunity ... to gather for a day full of festivities designed to appeal to a diverse group of people,” Scott said in a news release. “I believe it is essential to create opportunities for people from all walks of life to connect. What better way to do so than by hosting a festival that brings out the best of Baltimore, from food to local talent and everything in-between?”

The festival lineup includes the powerhouse R&B and gospel singer Kelly Price; the platinum-selling singer and songwriter Jonathan “Jon B” Buck and pop singer Rebecca Black.

Black became notorious in 2011 after releasing the single “Friday,” which was widely derided at the time by music critics and fans as being among the worst videos — and songs — of all time. Black continued performing and released a remix of the single last year to kinder reviews.

The new festival is in part the city’s attempt to fill the void created by the cancellation of such popular events as Artscape, the Baltimore Book Festival and Light City Baltimore. A re-imagined Artscape will return in the fall of 2023, with the other two festivals tentatively expected to follow within the next year.

During Charm City Live, motorists are warned to expect road closures on Gay, Baltimore, Saratoga, Lexington and Fayette Streets.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds will not be performing at Charm City Live, as previously announced by the city.


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