All the superstar singers coming to Abu Dhabi for Saadiyat Nights
Mega concerts from Alicia Keys, Sting, Sir Tom Jones and John Legend are making it an all-star few week in the capital…
It’s been a star-studded couple of months on Saadiyat Island. Since pop diva Mariah Carey opened the show on January 6, Saadiyat Nights music festival has welcomed a string of A-listers to one of the world’s most picturesque isles. The inaugural Saadiyat Nights music festival has been a showcase of local and internationally renowned musical icons, each belting out their biggest hits at the purpose built, open-air Saadiyat Nights stage.
But there’s still more to come, with some of the world’s biggest musical talents set to make their way to Abu Dhabi in February and March. Read on for the big gigs hitting the high notes in the coming weeks.
February 3: Sting
At the turn of the new year, Sting took to the stage at Atlantis, The Palm, performing some of his biggest hits from his illustrious solo career as well as his time in The Police. This prelude to the iconic New Year’s Eve fireworks saw the 72-year-old musician, casually dressed in a t-shirt and white jeans, belt out hit after hit to a crowd of gala-goers in the final hours of 2023. And he’ll be back for more UAE action this month.
Returning to the stage almost a year after his last sellout Abu Dhabi gig at Etihad Arena in January 2023, the multi-Grammy-scooping hitmaker is expected to handpick his best crowd-pleasers from a 40-year career music. His back catalogue, which he sold in February 2022 for a deal rumoured to equate to up to $300 million, includes karaoke favourites Fields of Gold, Englishman In New York and Desert Rose. Then there’s the string of tracks from his seven years in The Police. The band rose from playing small clubs around London just as punk was breaking to stadium-selling-out super stardom with tracks like Roxanne, Every Breath You Take, Message In A Bottle and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.
Tickets: From Dhs295. ticketmaster.ae
February 17: Alicia Keys
One of the most celebrated musicians of her time, Alicia Keys‘ remarkable vocals have seen her amass some 15 Grammy Awards across the last two decades. A classically trained pianist who signed her first record deal at aged just 15, her musical style transcends genres, and her set lists feature an array of R&B, pop, soul and hip-hop tracks. Her worldwide record sales have seen her become one of the best-selling artists of all time, with more than 90 million of her hits sold around the globe. Her debut album, Songs in A Minor, was released in 2001 and was the catalyst for a string of record-breaking albums and hits to follow over the next two decades, many of which fans can look forward to when Keys returns to the UAE. On February 17, it’ll be a mass sing-along with Keys set to belt out smash hits such as Girl On Fire, If I Ain’t Got You, Fallin and No One.
Tickets: from Dhs295. ticketmaster.ae
March 1: Tom Jones
Did Sir Tom Jones imagine he’d still be belting out S*x Bomb at 83 when he released the track in 1999? Probably not. But then he probably didn’t still expect to be entertaining sellout crowds well over 60 years after his career began. The Welsh singer’s unmistakably robust voice has lent itself to myriad genres over the last six decades, from pop and rock to country and even gospel, a true testament to Jones’ diversity and mass appeal. His record sales have topped 100 million worldwide, and his tracks have landed him in the UK Top 40 no less than 36 times.
Most notably, this has been with tracks such as his very first number one, It’s Not Unusual, which landed in the charts in 1965. It was followed up with still-popular songs like What’s New Pussycat? later that year, and then Green, Green Grass of Home in 1966. His smash hits also include sing-along treasures like Delilah, She’s A Lady, Mama Told Me Not to Come and S*x Bomb. But Tom Jones’ mass-appeal is as much about his stage presence as it is about his catalogue of award-winning hits. Despite being in the advanced stages of his career, his voice still has the power to command a multi-thousand-strong audience, and if recent reviews of his UK tour are to go by, his voice is as strong as ever. As is his ability to command a stage, and as much as his upcoming Abu Dhabi show will be about the music, fans also come to hear him tell tales from the peak of his career, his famous friends, and his own experiences with music.
Tickets: From Dhs245. ticketmaster.ae
March 2: John Legend
A singer, songwriter and pianist, John Legend’s signature sound that fuses soul with sultry R&B has earned him a sensational tally of awards includes 12 Grammy wins, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a MOBO and an Emmy. Not a bad collection for a musical man whose career began singing in the church choir, when he went by his birthname of John Roger Stephens. His career was catapulted to stratospheric heights in 2004 with the release of his first major label album, Get Lifted. Buoyed by the now beloved ballad Ordinary People, it kickstarted a two-decade career for Legend that would see him release nine studio albums and 39 singles.
Almost everyone will have heard of what is this appropriately named song man’s biggest 13 x Platinum hit — All of Me. A track that tops many a first dance wedding playlist, All of Me was originally written for Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen and has been streamed on YouTube no less than 2.3 billion times. But his range and musical flexibility beyond this sort of emotion-laden ballad is truly impressive. Tracks such as So High, Penthouse, Glory and American Boy, demonstrate depth, and nuance — a scientific understanding of the power of music combined an artful execution of it. And it’s not just Legend’s solo work that’s made him one of modern soul music’s biggest stars. He’s also lent his note-perfect vocals to tracks like Lay Me Down with Sam Smith, Like I’m Gonna Lose You alongside Meghan Trainor, and Magnificent with Rick Ross.
Tickets: From Dhs295. ticketmaster.ae