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Grammy Award-winner among new acts announced for the Illinois State Fair

'Making Memories' introduced as 2014 fair theme

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[April 29, 2014]  SPRINGFIELD Rapper Pitbull and the Chicago cast of the "Million Dollar Quartet" have been added to the Illinois State Fair Grandstand entertainment offerings. They will join country artists Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes and Jake Owen, rock legends Boston and Steely Dan, and the 10 finalists on "American Idol" to form a star-studded 2014 concert lineup.

"This entertainment lineup proves that there truly is something for everyone at this year's Illinois State Fair," said Gov. Pat Quinn. "A concert in the state fair Grandstand is a great way to spend a summer evening."

Latin Grammy winner Pitbull, whose single "Timber" just recently became his second No. 1 hit in the United States, will perform Aug. 9. Tickets for the show, which range in price from $40 for a Tier 3 Grandstand seat to $65 for a VIPit track ticket in front of the stage, will go on sale Saturday, May 3, at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.

The cast of "Million Dollar Quartet" will give a free concert Aug. 11. The hit musical is currently running at the Apollo Theater in Chicago and Harrah's Showroom in Las Vegas and was inspired by the famed 1956 recording session that brought together rock 'n' roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.

"This year's entertainment is going to be something you don't want to miss," said Amy Bliefnick, state fair manager. "From the first night to the last, the acts are top-notch. I'm looking forward to great shows and memorable performances."

The 2014 Grandstand concert series opens Aug. 8, when the "American Idol Live!" tour rolls into Springfield. The tour will give fans of the hit TV series a chance to see the top 10 finalists from the current season: C.J. Harris, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, MK Nobilette, Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Majesty Rose, Malaya Watson and Sam Woolf.

Florida Georgia Line will perform Aug. 10, the day after the Pitbull concert. The vocal duo has rocketed to stardom since the first four singles from the platinum-selling debut album "Here's to the Good Times" shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, including "Cruise," the best-selling digital country song of all time and the Country Music Association's 2013 "Single of the Year."

Aug. 12 will feature a "triple bill" of classic rock. Headlining the show will be 70s supergroup Boston, whose hits, including "More Than A Feeling," "Peace of Mind," "Long Time," "Don't Look Back" and "Amanda," remain a staple of classic rock radio today. Joining Boston will be the Canadian rock group April Wine, which has released more than 20 albums and performed together for more than 40 years, and Sweet, a British glam band best known for songs such as "Ballroom Blitz" and "Little Willy."

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Singer and songwriter Hunter Hayes, the youngest male solo act ever to reach the top of the Hot Country Songs chart, will take the Grandstand stage for a concert Aug. 13. Hayes already has six hit singles to his credit, including "Wanted," which reached No. 1 just after his 21st birthday in September 2012.

On Aug. 15, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steely Dan will perform. The duo released a string of hit songs in the 1970s, including such classic rock staples as "Rikki Don't Lose That Number," "Do It Again," "Hey Nineteen," "Reelin' In the Years" and "Deacon Blues."

Country singer Jake Owen, the 2012 American Country Awards "Breakthrough Artist of the Year," is the featured entertainment Aug. 16. Owen already has nine top 20 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart to his credit, including the No. 1 smash hits "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" and "Alone with You."

Performers have yet to be booked for Aug. 14 and 17.

In addition to Pitbull tickets, fairgoers also can begin buying tickets Saturday for the Hunter Hayes and Steely Dan concerts. Those will be available online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/, by phone at 800-745-3000 or in person at all Ticketmaster outlets.

Tickets for the "American Idol Live!" tour can be purchased the following Saturday, May 10. Tickets for the other announced acts already are on sale.

The new concert bookings were announced during a preview party on the fairgrounds to begin the countdown to the fair. The event also included the unveiling of the 2014 Illinois State Fair theme, "Making Memories."

"For many Illinoisans, a trip to the fair has become a family tradition, an annual pilgrimage to celebrate our state's people, culture and heritage," said Bob Flider, agriculture director. "And the lifelong memories of those visits have kept families coming back for generations. I invite your family to make memories of its own when this tradition known as the Illinois State Fair is renewed Aug. 7-17."

For more information about the Grandstand entertainment lineup, visit the fair's website or call 217-782-1979.

[Text from Illinois State Fair news release]

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