More Stars Added To Olympic Celebrations

With the 2002 Olympic Winter Games already underway in Salt Lake City, and the official opening ceremony scheduled for this evening (Feb. 8), musical talent is still signing on to appear at various ev

With the 2002 Olympic Winter Games already underway in Salt Lake City, and the official opening ceremony scheduled for this evening (Feb. 8), musical talent is still signing on to appear at various events during the tournament. R&B heartthrob R. Kelly is the latest artist to sign on for the opening ceremonies, while Latin superstar Gloria Estefan has been added to the Feb. 24 closing ceremony lineup.

Modern rock acts will not be left out of the last minute additions either, as Lifehouse has been tapped to fill the Feb. 10 slot in the Hallmark Olympic Celebration series of concerts, and Lit will perform slopeside during Sunday's snowboarding competition at the Park City Mountain Resort, about 30 minutes outside downtown Salt Lake City.

"For the first time ever the Olympic Winter Games will feature an incredibly diverse line up of brilliant musical performances in addition to the pinnacle of global sporting competition. The Games will combine the best of both music and the sporting worlds," Scott Givens of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) said in a statement. "We are extremely excited about the line up of musical stars who have been chosen to celebrate the Olympic athletes. Only in the United States could this incredible event take place. The Games truly have the power to inspire."

Along with Kelly, tonight's opening ceremony will feature LeAnn Rimes, Sting and Yo Yo Ma, John Williams, Rita Coolidge & Walela, the Dixie Chicks, David Hartley, Sadie Buck, Michael Kamen, Keith Lockhart and the Utah Symphony, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, and the Utah Olympic Spirit Band. The closing ceremony will boast Estefan, Christina Aguilera, Bon Jovi, Harry Connick, Jr., Charlotte Church, Earth Wind & Fire, Josh Groban, and Dianne Reeves.

Rice-Eccles Stadium has been outfitted with an enormous ice rink, which will play a big role in both the opening and closing ceremonies. To that end, such world-renowned skaters as Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Katarina Witt, Renee Roca, Gorsha Sur, and Ilia Kulik will participate in the festivities. The ceremonies will be broadcast live on NBC television in the U.S.

As previously reported, the Hallmark Olympic Celebration series of concerts will take place in the Olympic Medals Plaza, which can accommodate approximately 20,000 spectators, according to the SLOC. Among the artists set to perform in the nightly concerts are Dave Matthews Band, the Foo Fighters, Macy Gray, Sheryl Crow, Brooks & Dunn, Alanis Morissette, and 'N Sync.

And Salt Lake City's Medals Plaza won't be the only venue music fans can turn to, as the Mountain Dew Ice Village will host an eclectic slate of artists during the games. Set to perform at the temporary venue in the city's Gateway Center are Cheap Trick (Feb. 9), Coolio (Feb. 10), the Roots with Common and Talib Kweli (Feb. 11), Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Feb. 12), George Clinton (Feb. 13), LFO and Dishwalla (Feb. 14), Nikka Costa (Feb. 15), and Pennywise (Feb 16).

Other artists due to perform in the Ice Village -- which also feature extreme winter sports exhibitions -- are Berlin ('80s night, Feb. 17) Modest Mouse (Feb. 18), Fishbone (Feb. 19), Gregory Isaacs (Feb. 20), Lit (Feb. 21), Perry Farrell (Feb. 22), Cake (Feb. 23). Tickets for the concerts, as well as all day passes to the exhibitions, are available through Ticketmaster.