Miller Lite

Black History Month

Black History Month
Janelle Monáe at Summerfest 2018
Photo Credit: Summerfest / Dan Zaitz

It's Black History Month, and we’ve spent some time reflecting on the Black artists that have performed at Summerfest.

Over the years we’ve hosted numerous Black artists from the likes of James Brown, B.B. King, Whitney Houston, Buddy Guy, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, and Dionne Warwick to Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Migos, Snoop Dogg, and Alicia Keys, and many local artists including ishDARR, Webster X and Zed Kenzo. Of the plethora of performances, one has stood out as one of the top Summerfest performances of all time. That performance in 2018 featured Janelle Monáe. We thought we’d take a moment to relive that night together with all of you. Maybe some of you reading this were fortunate enough to be there for that amazing showGrab your headphones and listen to the set, and let’s reminisce. 

The Summerfest entertainment team had tried to book Janelle Monáe to play the festival for many years. It got to the point where our team thought that they'd never be able to book her, but they were persistent, and in 2018, the stars aligned.  

Fresh off her role in Hidden Figures and prior to releasing Dirty Computer, Janelle Monáe was confirmed for Summerfest at the BMO Harris Pavilion on July 6, 2018. Her show that night was worth the wait. The Summerfest Entertainment team, who have booked countless shows over the years, all said her show was " the top 10 best shows they've ever seen."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel summed up her show perfectly. "You could shower her BMO Harris Pavilion concert...with the most grandiose adjectives imaginable: phenomenal, breathtaking, revolutionary, groundbreaking."  

Janelle Monáe truly brought a glimpse of Hollywood to the stage with her full band, a team of dancers, and an elaborate set design. Simply put, everybody in the packed house was blown away by her incredible performance.    

So, in honor of all the Black excellence we’ve seen at Summerfest, we put together a playlist of some of our favorite Black artists. Join in on the conversation on our social media – who should we have our eye on for future Summerfest performances? 

Brush up on your favorite tunes

Author: Kellie McGinnis