Janelle Monae books Glastonbury slot

R&B star Janelle Monae is the latest headliner to be confirmed for the Glastonbury Festival.

The US singer will top the bill on the West Holts stage, organiser Emily Eavis told BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne.

Monae last played the festival in 2011, with a energised soul revue that’s been named one of the festival’s Top 100 performances ever.

“Visually it was just incredible,” said Eavis. “You could have watched it with the sound off.”

Her return comes off the back of her acclaimed Dirty Computer album, which celebrates sexual freedom and “black girl power” against a backdrop of catchy funk-pop.

Released after the star took eye-catching acting roles in Moonlight and Hidden Figures, the record is up for album of the year at next month’s Grammy Awards.

Monae joins previously announced Glastonbury headliner Stormzy on the line-up. Pop star Kylie Minogue will play the celebrated “legend slot” on Sunday afternoon.

Eavis said that, after taking a year off in 2018, the festival is raring to go.

“Because of the fallow year we kick into action much earlier, so by August we were ready to go,” she said.

“We’re about 90% of the way there,” she said of the line-up, adding that the final confirmations were “going on now”.

“We’re really lucky to be able to get the bands we’ve got,” she added. “As you know we don’t pay the same amounts as others, so we’re kind of reliant on good feeling.”

6 Music shake-up
Eavis was speaking on Laverne’s first ever Breakfast Show on BBC 6 Music.

“Hello, music lover,” she told the audience after opening her programme with the Prince deep cut Starfish and Coffee.

The presenter chose the track days in advance, teasing fans over the weekend: “I know what I’m going with.”

She went on: “It’s tricky [because] it’s like the canape that everyone is greeted with when they enter and everyone at the party has to like it.

“I’ve chosen the best one and you can be confident in that.”

Laverne’s debut on breakfast comes amid a schedule overhaul on 6 Music. Former breakfast show host Shaun Keaveny moves to the early afternoon, replacing Radcliffe and Maconie.

They move to a weekend slot, while Laverne’s former mid-morning show will be hosted by Mary-Ann Hobbes.

The shake-up comes a week before BBC Radio 2 launches its new line-up, with Zoe Ball taking over Chris Evans’ breakfast show and Sara Cox moving to drivetime.


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