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Decatur Celebration moves into a new generation with the headliners at this year's event.

Celebration opens in downtown Decatur on Friday, Aug. 3. The annual event runs through Sunday evening.

In the previous 32 years, Decatur Celebration stages have featured a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (Joan Jett), one of the top 100 best-selling U.S. artists (Boyz II Men), a Grammy Award winner for album of the year (Christopher Cross) and an act with one of the United States' top 100 best-selling singles in history (“Hey There Delilah,” by Plain White T's, who played in 2008).

But this year's lineup has one thing no other can claim. This is the first Decatur Celebration where all the headliners came to prominence exclusively in the 21st century.

T.I., who plays the Show Stage the night of Saturday, Aug. 4, emerged with his first album in 2001. He's had seven top 10 albums in Billboard's rap and R&B charts, five of which have made the main albums chart, including three No. 1s. His hit singles include “What You Know,” “Whatever You Like,” “Live Your Life” with Rihanna and “Dead and Gone” with Justin Timberlake.

Gretchen Wilson headlines at the Show Stage Friday, Aug, 5. Her first album was 2004's “Here For the Party,” one of her three No. 1 albums. Her top 10 singles include “Redneck Woman,” “Homewrecker” and “All Jacked Up.”

Kool and the Gang

Kool and the Gang plays at Decatur Celebration in 2015. 

Daughtry caps the Celebration with his performance the night of Sunday, Aug. 5. Chris Daughtry was a contestant on the fifth season (2006) of “American Idol,” finishing fourth the year Taylor Hicks won. His subsequent group, which bore his name, sold 4 million copies of their first album. Their second album, “Leave This Town” (2009), also went No. 1. The band's newest release is “Cage to Rattle,” which was just released this week.

There are six additional stages at the event. The Funfest Stage features themes each night, with Aerosmith tribute band Draw the Line plays Friday, country acts Tara Thompson and Chuck Wicks play Saturday and blues-rock acts William Marsala and the Jeremiah Johnson Band play Sunday.

The Christian Stage features Grammy nominees and Dove Award winners Jonathan McReynolds (Friday) and Crowder (Sunday).

The Central Park stage features the Decatur Power Trumblers Friday; the municipal band, a baby contest and a hypnotist Saturday; and Rock of Ages and jazz band Dreaming in Colour Sunday.

Assorted local and regional bands play the Cabaret and Prairie Street stages, and the North Park Stage will be the site for a Battle of the Bands Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the winner acting as one of Daughtry's opening acts Sunday night.

Contact Tim Cain at (217) 421-6908. Follow him on Twitter: @timcainhr


Entertainment Reporter

Entertainment reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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