It’s been a long road, but the Palace has finally secured a set of musical performances for King Charles’s upcoming coronation on May 6. After early reports that stars such as Harry Styles, Adele, and Elton John had all turned down an invitation to perform on the big day, an official line-up for the Coronation Concert—which takes place the following day, on Sunday, May 7—has now been released, and the musical guests include Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Andrea Bocelli.
BBC and BBC Studios will be both producing and broadcasting Charles’s Coronation Concert, which is set to take place at Windsor Castle and will include additional performances from the Coronation Choir, Sir Bryn Terfel, Take That, Freya Ridings, and Alexis Ffrench. Richie and Perry, both judges on the decidedly non-U.K. American Idol, may seem like an odd choice for this celebration of the British monarchy, but both singers have been involved with charitable organizations associated with King Charles III in previous years. In 2019, Richie became the first global ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, a youth charity founded by the king in 1976; in 2020, Perry became an ambassador for the British Asian Trust, a charity cofounded by Charles in 2007.
“It’s an honor,” Richie told Entertainment Tonight of his invitation to perform at the royal concert in May. “We’ve been friends a long time, I’ve known him a long time, but to be asked is the whole thing.”
Richie added that “there’s more secrecy than you’ve ever imagined in your life” when it comes to preparing for the big day, and that any details about the rest of the show have been kept from him completely.
“I know what I’m going to do but when you ask, ‘What is everyone else going to do?’ Nothing,” Richie explained to ET. “‘Who is everybody else?’ ‘Hmmm.’ ‘OK, well, what’s the production going to be like?’ [No response].”
In keeping with that high level of secrecy, we have no way of knowing what songs Richie, Perry, Bocelli, and others might have prepared—and if the Palace has any say, we won’t know until we’re tuning in to the show on BBC.