Rock rolls on with Grand Rapids Symphony special-event Picnic Pops shows at Cannonsburg this summer

Grand Rapids Symphony’s D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops over the past two decades has brought plenty of top recording artists to West Michigan each summer concert series.

An appearance by The Temptations drew some 12,000 people over two nights to Cannonsburg Ski in 1998. Last year, Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik rocked the audience to close the 21st summer season with a special-event show.

Over the years, the Grand Rapids Symphony has welcomed such pop/rock artists as Three Dog Night and America to Cannonsburg and has presented tribute shows to groups including The Beatles and ABBA and entertainers such as Michael Jackson and Billy Joel.

The 2016 season for the Grand Rapids Pops has both.

Boyz II Men joins the Grand Rapids Symphony on Thursday, Aug. 4, and salutes the music of David Bowie on Tuesday, Aug. 2. Only a limited number of tickets will be available for both one-night only, special events.

Single tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 13, for both special-event concerts that top off the three-week D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops. Tickets begin at $30 for adults for David Bowie Tribute and start at $40 for Boyz II Men in Concert.

Grand Rapids Symphony will rock you with the music of Queen, Beach Boys at 2016 Picnic Pops

Boyz II Men, which was in Grand Rapids for “Rock the Rapids” in 2012, became an international success when their No. 1 single, “End of the Road,” in 1992 remained in the top slot on the Billboard Hot 100 for a record 13 weeks, breaking a decades-old record held by Elvis Presley.

Songs such as “One Sweet Day,” featuring Mariah Carey, which spent 16 weeks in the No. 1 slot on Billboard Hot 100, a record that still stands today, made the vocal group from Philadelphia an international sensation.

With such hits as “I’ll Make Love to You,” Boyz II Men is one of only four acts in the history of recorded music to spend at least 50 weeks cumulatively in the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s charts. 

Elvis Presley, Mariah Carey and The Beatles are the other three.

David Bowie, whose songs including Space Oddity,” “Changes” and “Under Pressure” sold more than 140 million albums in his five-decade career, died in January from liver cancer just four days after releasing his 25th album. “Blackstar” has dominated worldwide record sales in the past three months since Bowie’s death, two days after celebrating his 69th birthday.

Windborne Music, which has collaborated with the Grand Rapids Symphony in such shows as “Music of Led Zeppelin” and “Music of Eagles,” will return with an all-new tribute to Bowie that debuts in Atlanta in June.

Songs in the symphonic salute for rock group and orchestra including “Heroes,” “Rebel Rebel” “Fame,” and “Ziggy Stardust,” sung by Bowie’s flamboyant alter ego, which helped launch the glam rock era.

The three-concert, D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops opens with “Classical Fireworks” on July 14-15.

But rock rolls on for the rest of the 2016 Picnic Pops series with “We Will Rock You! The Music of Queen” on July 21-22 and a salute to “The Music of The Beach Boys on July 28-29.

Posted by Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk at 1:00 PM

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