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Lusaka braces for ‘Two Sweet Days’

US R&B vocal group Boyz II Men arrive in Lusaka today, ahead of their scheduled performances at the Stanbic Music Festival this weekend. The award-winning trio – Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman – are the headline act for this year’s festival set for the Lusaka Polo Club tomorrow and Saturday.

Stanbic public relations manager Chanda Chime-Katongo said most of the group’s band members arrived in the country on Tuesday evening and the stage was set for two nights of performances.

“We are looking forward to a fantastic two nights,” said Katongo.

Organisers say they expect to draw a crowd of 10,000 for both shows. Briefing the media last month, Stanbic marketing manager Perry Siame said the 2017 festival had drawn interest from across Zambia’s borders.

“There are a lot of people keen to attend the shows…we are currently selling tickets in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. So the interest is quite wide. We expect a very huge and large turnout for the event this year,”

Siame said.

Gates open at 16:00 hours on both days, with the show scheduled to start at 18:00 hours. Curtain-raisers for Friday’s show include Wezi, Mumba Yachi and Chef 187, while Saturday will feature Abel Chungu, K’millian and James Sakala. Cape Town-based electric violinist Caitlin De Ville is scheduled to perform both nights.

Formed in 1988 in Philadelphia, Boyz II Men originally comprised four members; Michael McCary left the group in 2003. The group’s road to success began in 1992 with the release of End of the Road from the album Cooleyhighharmony. The single was top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks, breaking the decades-old record held by rock legend Elvis Presley.

Boyz II Men proceeded to break this record with the subsequent releases of I’ll Make Love to You and One Sweet Day (with pop diva Mariah Carey), which at 14 and 16 weeks respectively, each set new records for the total number of weeks at number one. One Sweet Day still holds that record.

The trio holds the distinction of being the best-selling R&B group of all time, with 60 million albums sold.

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