Bruce Springsteen! Jennifer Hudson! Paul Simon!
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced the first batch of headliners for the city’s planned “homecoming concert” in Central Park this summer, which is being booked with the 89-year-old music producer Clive Davis.
During a video news conference, de Blasio confirmed that those three artists would be part of the show, which is planned for the park’s Great Lawn as part of a weeklong celebration of the city’s reopening.
“This is going to be one of the greatest Central Park concerts in history,” de Blasio said. “This is something for the ages.”
But many details have yet to be announced, including the event’s date. When de Blasio first revealed plans for the show, three weeks ago, it was provisionally set for Aug. 21. But in his comments on Thursday the mayor gave no date and said that there were still “a lot more details to come” about the event.
Gossip about Springsteen’s involvement has been circulating through the entertainment world for weeks, and seemed uncertain once the singer announced the return of his show “Springsteen on Broadway,” which reopened Saturday and will run through Sept. 4. But while his show is running on some Saturdays, an Aug. 21 performance is conspicuously absent from the posted schedule.
“He is beloved in New York City in an extraordinary way,” de Blasio said of Springsteen, “even though he happens to come from Jersey — no one’s perfect.”
At the Central Park show, Springsteen is expected to perform a duet with Patti Smith, according to a person briefed on the plans. The mayor did not mention Smith’s involvement in his announcement, and a representative of the singer declined to comment.
The performers announced so far have long been associated with Davis, whose career as a top music executive began in the late 1960s when he took over Columbia Records. He signed Springsteen to Columbia in 1972, and worked with Simon & Garfunkel and Simon as a solo artist during his years at that label. Later, he signed Hudson — who had been a contestant on “American Idol” — to J Records.