Ari Lennox will turn up the pressure on Baltimore this weekend: Mayor Brandon Scott announced the popular songstress will be the new headliner for Charm City Live festival on Saturday, replacing a late dropout by R&B singer H.E.R.

Scott posted a video from H.E.R. to his Instagram feed Monday morning in which she said she was “so sorry” to announce her cancellation and thanked “the people and the mayor of Baltimore for this invitation and I really look forward to the next time that I can perform there in Baltimore for all my friends and fans.” Minutes later, a new post on Scott’s account declared that Lennox, a Washington, D.C., native, would be taking the festival stage instead.

The change came after H.E.R. “made an abrupt decision to cancel a number of her tour dates, including her appearance in Baltimore,” according to a press release from the mayor’s office. When asked for further comment, the office said the change was due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

“While we’re incredibly disappointed that H.E.R. needed to cancel her appearance in Baltimore, we are absolutely thrilled that the incomparable Ari Lennox has graciously stepped in at the last minute,” Scott said in the release.

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A similar situation happened for the inaugural Charm City Live last year when renowned musician Babyface was pulled as the headliner at the event at War Memorial Plaza due to “miscommunication” between the city and the festival promoter.

The free, family-friendly festival will take place in its new spot at the Inner Harbor on Saturday, at the intersection of Market Place and East Pratt Street. Legendary artists Donell Jones and MC Lyte, who were announced in June as fellow musical acts alongside H.E.R., are still set to perform.

taji.burris@thebaltimorebanner.com

Taji Burris has covered the Baltimore music scene since 2015 for outlets such as The Working Title and The 4th Quarter, and now at the Baltimore Banner. 

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