Nile Rodgers & Chic and Emeli Sandé in the first big announcement for Belladrum 2020

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Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival announces today that legendary multi- Grammy Award winning composer, producer, arranger and guitarist NILE RODGERS & CHIC and Scottish Artist with one of the most recognisable voices in pop, soul and R&B, EMELI SANDÉ will headline the 17th outing of the festival.

As the co-founder of CHIC and the newly elected Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Rodgers pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping hits like “Le Freak,” (the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records!) and sparked the advent of hip-hop with “Good Times”. Nile Rodgers transcends all styles of music across every generation with a body of work that’s garnered him inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2017) and the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2016).

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He was appointed as the first ever Chief Creative Advisor for the legendary Abbey Road Studios and his work in the CHIC Organization and his productions for artists like David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Madonna have sold over 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide while his innovative, trendsetting collaborations with Daft Punk, Avicii, Sigala, Disclosure, and Sam Smith reflect the vanguard of contemporary music.

With over 340 million video views, 19 million singles sold including 3 Number One UK singles and over 6 million albums, EMELI SANDÉ has dominated the music industry and captured the heart of the nation. Her debut album ‘Our Version of Events’ released in 2012 was the biggest selling album of that year and this month featured in the official chart company’s top 10 albums of the decade. The Aberdonian has won numerous accolades including 4 Brit Awards (Critics Choice, Best Album and Female Solo twice, most recently in 2017 for her second album, ‘Long Live the Angels’ and in 2018 was awarded an MBE for services to Music.) 

Alongside her solo career, EMELI regularly provided guest vocals for other artists including the huge hits ‘Read All About It’ (Professor Green), ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’ (Labrinth) and ‘What I Did for Love’ (David Guetta). She also performed at both the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics and at the White House for Barack Obama.

Event Producer Dougie Brown is justifiably very pleased with this first announcement for the festival, ‘We are delighted to announce NILE RODGERS & CHIC and EMELI SANDE as our first headliners for Belladrum 2020. NILE RODGERS & CHIC have been at the top of our wish list for many years and we are certain their set will go down as one of Bella’s standout moments. EMELI SANDE played the festival’s Grassroots tent in 2011 when she was starting out and to have seen the journey she has been on and to see come back and headline the festival’s Thursday night will be another special moment at Bella.

In further line-up announcements SHED SEVEN will be making a very welcome return to the festival having last appeared way back in 2009! To date they have clocked up 15 top ten singles and 4 top ten albums, with standout tracks including, ‘Going for Gold’, ‘Chasing Rainbow’ and ‘Disco Down’. The release of their first album in sixteen years, 2017’s ‘Instant Pleasures’ saw them cement their place as one of the UK’s most treasured bands.

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PASSENGER has come a long way since the release of his first album, Wicked Man’s Rest, back in 2007. The initial incarnation, in which Rosenberg was backed by a full band, was followed by his reinvention as a solo artist and a period of busking, largely in Australia and New Zealand. Then came a year touring the world in support of Ed Sheeran. And then Let Her Go – followed, Rosenberg smiles, by ‘two years running round the world after that song’. He had to run fast: the song, for which Rosenberg won an Ivor Novello, has reached two billion plays on Youtube (18th highest ranked video of all time on the service) & over one billion plays on Spotify.

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Belfast punk royalty STIFF LITTLE FINGERS make their Bella debut. Formed in 1977 the band, along with the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned, Buzzcocks, Sham 69, were there at the start of the punk rock movement and they are still going strong.

Scotland’s TIDE LINES join the bill, a band whose sound is a combination of Celtic soul, folk philosophy and big guitars with the voice of a Gaelic angel in singer and chief songwriter Robert Robertson. The band first emerged in the summer of 2016 with the release of their debut single, ‘Far Side of The World’ and have been an unstoppable force ever since.

2020 will see THE MAGIC NUMBERS celebrate 15 years since the release of their self-titled multi-platinum debut album. The album was nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2005 and included the standout singles, ‘Forever Lost’, and ‘Love Me Like You’.

An act who feel more like a Bella family member, COLONEL MUSTARD & THE DIJON FIVE will bring the party with Peace, Love & Mustard; Electronic Afro-Funk outfit IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE are set to make their Bella debut on the Garden Stage; multi-award winning Scottish Supergroup MÀNRAN are set to appear as is KYLE FALCONER frontman of Dundee’s THE VIEW.

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Other act joining the line-up include; ‘BBC Music Sound Of 2016 nominee’ BILLIE MARTEN;  winners of the 2019 Trad Awards Belhaven Bursary THE KINARIS QUINTET; Norwegian folk float-pop trio I SEE RIVERS; closing the Grassroots Stage on the Thursday night will be RYTHMNREEL; also appearing over the weekend are Highland singer-songwriter JAMES MACKENZIE; firm Bella favourites THE DANGLEBERRRIESESPERANZA the 9-piece ska collective from Glasgow; THE ROOV who provided the soundtrack to our official 2019 after-movie; the CALUM MACPHAIL TRIOTWEEDSHIEHALLIONJOURNEY NORTH and one for the younger family members FUN BOX with lots more acts to be announced over the coming months.

Tickets

Tickets for the 2020 festival sold out for the 12th consecutive year in a record breaking 72 hours.

A final 1,000 tickets have been held back until after the first line-up announcement and these tickets will be put on sale on Monday 6th January at 10am along with any returns via Skiddle’s RE:SELL initiative and all tickets will be available from www.skiddle.com/festivals/belladrum

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I've always loved music and spent my late teens and early twenties playing guitar in various bands on Lewis and Aberdeen. Other than playing in some truly terrifying pubs in Aberdeen not much came of it and life became focused on family and having a 'proper' job. Inverness Gigs is an outlet for me to quell my inner frustrated musician and the caliber of local acts has even inspired me to take my own music more seriously again. Who knows, one day I might venture back on stage under the fierce scrutiny of an Inverness Gigs reviewer! You can contact Toby direct at Toby@Igi.gs