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Leah Marlene is out for Make Music Normal and Bloomington concerts, but the shows will go on

Leah Marlene singing and playing guitar
Shea Grehan
Leah Marlene performed before a crowd of thousands in Uptown Normal on May 17.

Town of Normal officials said Wednesday that "American Idol" finalist Leah Marlene will not be able to perform as planned at Make Music Normal later this month.

The news comes one week after organizers of the Saturdays on the Square concert series in downtown Bloomington said Marlene would have a conflict with her scheduled performance on July 16.

Normal's civic arts manager, Adam Fox, said Make Music Normal will still have close to 50 performers lined up to play in Uptown Normal on June 24-25.

“While we would have loved to have had Leah a part of this year’s event as she has been so many times before, we understand scheduling wasn’t going to make that possible for this year. We are really excited to move forward with everything we know we’ve done so successfully in the past and will continue to do this year,” Fox said.

Fox noted Make Music Normal could very well produce the next rising star, as Marlene was a mainstay at the event for years, dating back to her days at Normal Community West High School.

“Leah Marlene is a great proof of concept of what an event like Make Music Normal can do within a community when you provide space for artists. That’s how you support the arts,” Fox said.
Fox said the final lineup will be posted online next week.

Marlene was originally scheduled to play as the opening act for headliner Dan Hubbard at the Saturdays on the Square concert in Bloomington. Organizers said Marlene would not appear due to “potential scheduling conflicts,” but said Hubbard will headline the event and Taylor Steele will be the opening act.

Marlene has not formally announced plans for performances this summer. In a reply to WGLT, Marlene said her plans are still being finalized so nothing is official.

"You can assure everyone that I will be playing a hometown show soon and to be on the lookout," Marlene said.

Updated: June 2, 2022 at 12:25 PM CDT
This story has been updated to include Leah Marlene's response.
Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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