Epic threesome! James Blunt, John Legend, and Sting for the win at Dubai Jazz Festival

Published February 25th, 2015 - 12:58 GMT

Who are you most excited to see at the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival? From John Legend’s soulful sounds to Sting’s legendary showmanship and James Blunt’s emotive guitar, we round up the headlining trio:

JAMES BLUNT

Support act: Christina Perri

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25

No one can deny the talent that James Blunt possesses, but when you hit superstardom off the back of your debut album, it’s hard to escape the onslaught of critics slamming everything you’ve done since. That said, the former military man should be proud of Back to Bedlam, which sold enough albums to account for half the population of his native Britain. Sure, his collection of break-up ballads are enough to steal the limelight from the likes of Taylor Swift and Adele combined (and that’s saying something), Blunt should no doubt put on a stellar stage show with his trusty guitar.

WE CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR: Any one of his tracks that might inspire us to contact a long-lost flame...

DID YOU KNOW? A U.K. radio station actually banned his hit singles Goodbye My Lover and You’re Beautiful from its play list after listeners complained they were tired of hearing them. Carry on, James, Dubai is a no-judgment zone.

CT VERDICT: Come for the nostalgia, stay for the depression.


STING

Support act: Lindsey Stirling

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26

Sting may be one of those few lucky old-school rockers who can still dominate a stage without looking ridiculous. With each year adoration for this Newcastle singer-songwriter only grows, and at 63, he continues to deliver the kind of timeless performances reserved for living legends. The former Police front man has 16 Grammy awards to his name (ten achieved as a solo artist) and has sold close to 100 million albums. But his accolades transcend music, garnering a Golden Globe, an Emmy and three Oscar nominations as well. Real name Gordon Sumner, the multi-talented activist has also used his star power for good, contributing to a host of charity campaigns that would put Bono to shame.

WE CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR: If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, Desert Rose and Fields of Gold. Basically we’re open to any song that might transport us back to the golden age of rock.

DID YOU KNOW? Sting worked as a tax collector to get by in the early days, describing it as “soul crushing”. Nothing like those manic Mondays eh?

CT VERDICT: If you’re staying up past your bedtime especially for this gig, you’ll fit right in with the crowds. 


JOHN LEGEND

Support act: Esperanza Spalding

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27

John Roger Stephens sounds like the kind of guy who might want to sell you car insurance, so it’s no wonder the 36-year-old R&B star adopted a stage name befitting his talents. From choir boy growing up in rural Ohio to selling out stadiums across the globe, Legend first got his start in the music industry after a chance meeting with then rising star Lauryn Hill who asked him to play piano for a track on her debut solo album. After finishing college he began producing, writing and recording music, getting the attention of rapper Kanye West, who subsequently signed him to his label. A staggering nine Grammy awards later, Legend has become synonymous with the kind of success that’s born from greatness and modesty. And now we can add Oscar winner to his enviable achievements after Glory from the Selma soundtrack took home Best Original Song last weekend.

WE CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR: Ordinary People and This Time. We’re also hoping that the smooth crooner goes unplugged with his smash hit All of Me and gives Dubai a taste of the song’s new Arabic remix which he produced with Lebanese composer Jean Marie Riachi.

DID YOU KNOW? John Legend was, and continues to be, a book worm (he’s a big fan of non-fiction). He excelled in his studies and was even offered admission to one of the world’s most prestigious schools, Harvard University (he ended up at University of Pennsylvania).

CT VERDICT: Convince yourself that true love is real with every note of his set. If that doesn’t work, make a McDonald’s run post gig.


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