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Musikfest announces first R&B act for 40th year

Keith Sweat & Monica
Keith Sweat and Monica will headline Musikfest's main stage on Aug. 8,

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Bethlehem’s Musikfest festival has announced its first R&B headliner for its 40th anniversary year.

It was announced Monday that Keith Sweat, a leading force in the New Jack Swing movement, will headline the main Steel Stage at the massive music festival in downtown and South Side Bethlehem at 7 p.m. Aug. 8.

  • R&B singers Keith Sweat and Monica will headline Bethlehem's Musikfest festival on Aug. 8
  • Tickets, at $29-$109 and $243 for Steel Terrace, go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday
  • The announcement is the eighth headline act announced for the festival, which this year stretches to 11 days for a run Aug. 3-13 in downtown and South Side Bethlehem

Joining him will be Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum singer and actress Monica.
Tickets, at $29-$109 and $243 for Steel Terrace, go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday at the ArtsQuest Center box office at 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, at www.musikfest.org and 610-332-3378.

Sweat is known for his hits "I Want Her," "Make It Last Forever," "I'll Give All My Love to You," "Make You Sweat," "Get Up on It,, "Twisted" and "Nobody."

In all, he’s had more than 25 Top 40 R&B chart hits, with six of those hitting No. 1.

He’s sold more than 13 million copies of his 18 studio and live albums in his 35-year recording career, with eight of them going gold or platinum.

His 1987 debut album "Make It Last Forever" sold triple-platinum and crossed over to the Top 15 of Billboard's overall albums chart. It produced the gold hit "I Want Her."

His sophomore album, 1990's "I'll Give All My Love to You," sold double-platinum and hit No. 6 on the overall chart. It, too, had a gold hit, "Make You Sweat."

His 1996 self-titled album, out did that, selling four times platinum and hitting No. 5 on the overall chart, with the platinum hits "Twisted" and "Nobody."

His last gold hit was 1998's "Come and Get With Me."

Monica's first two albums — 1995's "Miss Thang" and 1998's "The Boy Is Mine," both sold triple-platinum and were Top 10 on the R&B chart.

The former produced the platinum, No. 1 hits "Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)" and "Before You Walk Out of My Life," and the latter the double-platinum No. 1 title track (with Brandy) and the platinum hits "First Night" and "Angel of Mine."

In all, she had sold 7 million copies of her eight albums and had 19 Top 40 R&B hits in her 28-year recording career, including six that hit No. 1.

Her hit streak continued into the 2010s, with the chart-topping hits "Everything to Me" and "Love Me All Over."

This year will be the 40th anniversary year for Musikfest. The festival, which normally runs 10 days, will stretch to 11 days this year with a preview night, which will run Aug. 3-13.

Sweat is the eighth headline act announced so far for this year.

Previously announced was indie-pop trio AJR on opening night preview night, Aug. 3; Grammy Award-winning country music duo Dan + Shay on Aug. 6; country singer Walker Hayes on Aug. 7; alt-rockers Goo Goo Dolls and O.A.R. on Aug. 9; comedian Gabriel Iglesias on Aug. 10; Maren Morris on Aug. 12; and Grammy Award-winning soft rock group Train on closing night Aug. 13.

It will be the third straight year Musikfest has added an 11th headline act by offering a Thursday “preview” concert. It was country star Darius Rucker in 2021 and Boyz II Men last year.