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Leah Marlene won’t be able to perform in Bloomington this summer. Normal is still up in the air

Leah Marlene performing in concert
Emily Bollinger
"American Idol" finalist performed for a crowd of several thousand people in Uptown Normal on May 17, 2022.

It's not clear whether Normal native Leah Marlene will get to perform in her hometown this summer after becoming an "American Idol" finalist.

Marlene is scheduled to play at Make Music Normal on Saturday, June 25. Normal's civic arts manager Adam Fox said the town is still waiting to see if Marlene will be free of "American Idol" commitments.

“Our understanding is she is very hopeful that she’ll be able to perform at the event, but as of now we have not gotten the confirmation or cancellation. We just don’t know yet because there are still some lingering contract details that still have to be worked out,” Fox said, adding the town hopes to have confirmation within the next few days.

Marlene will not perform at Saturdays on the Square in downtown Bloomington, according to Jason Williams, director of talent for Castle Productions and The Castle Theatre.

Marlene had been scheduled to be the opening act for Bloomington-Normal musician Dan Hubbard.

“Due to potential scheduling conflicts, Leah will no longer be performing on the July 16th Saturdays on the Square concert,” Williams said. “Dan Hubbard is still the headliner for the night and Taylor Steele will be opening.”

Jeff Smudde
WGLT file
In this file photo, Leah Marlene played at Make Music Normal in Uptown Normal in 2018.

Fox noted Marlene has been a mainstay at Make Music Normal. He recalled when Marlene was a student at Normal West High school, she took the main stage to fill a last-second opening prior to the headline act, after “holding court” in Uptown with her music for most of the day.

Fox said Marlene has also been a fixture at the town-sponsored concerts at Uptown Circle in recent years.

"Some of that magic surrounding Leah and her performance and what she brings to an event has been there for many years and we've been so fortunate to be able to tap into that," Fox said.

Marlene was listed as tentative for the weekend-long music event in Uptown prior to advancing to American Idol’s final round, so a cancellation is a scenario the town has prepared for. Fox noted the town has several other prominent acts who will perform, including Bloomington native Matthew Curry as part of the Matthew Curry Duo and Champaign-based Salaryman.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.