One of R&B’s Greatest “KEM” Returns to 2017 Cincinnati Music Festival

R&B singer Kim Owens, better known as KEM, will be returning to the 2017 Cincinnati Music Festival, performing Friday, July 28 at Paul Brown Stadium. KEM, who has four albums to his credit, including Promise to Love, returns as a fan favorite to the festival, and KEM says he appreciates the support. Checkout what KEM had to say in a recent interview.

His thoughts on the Santangelo Family

“It’s incredible,” he said. “The Santangelo family first and foremost has always been good to us over the years. And I grew up in the Midwest, I grew up in Detroit, so when we play the Cincinnati Music Festival, we get people from Indiana, people from Chicago, so it’s a different kind of homecoming in a way, a friendly gathering of my fans from other places in the country.”

KEM will be sharing the stage Friday night with, among others, Mary J. Blige, SWV, En Vogue and Bell Biv Devoe, performers that he thinks will take fans back. When asked about this years lineup of performers Kem said  “That’s a lineup that speaks to the memories and the music, the soundtrack of many of our lives,” he said. “People are going to rediscover and revisit moments in their lives when they first heard that great music, and we’re gonna party, we’re gonna laugh, we’re gonna cry, and most importantly, we will be sharing the love.”

What can we expect from KEM in the future…

He’s also working on new music right now with a single due this year and an album in 2018. He’s also working on a book titled “Shelter,” an autobiography of his previous struggles.


Photo Credit: Tampa Bay TImes

“A lot of people know my background of addiction and homelessness, and I’m going into greater depth of those things in my new book. It’s an exciting time, and I’m looking forward to what the new year brings.”

KEM’s birthday comes five days before the Cincinnati Music Festival. Is he planning to continue the birthday party while he’s in town? “anytime we’re in Cincinnati playing the music festival, it’s a celebration,” he said. “I’ll be heading back home, spending time with family and friends, setting up this next year which is going to be exciting for us.”

KEM may be a regular at the Cincinnati Music Festival, but he says he is thrilled for the opportunity to return. “Anytime we’re invited back; we’re very grateful. We go through great pains to make sure we put on a good show for the folks. Paul Brown Stadium is a magnificent venue; it’s a great stage to perform on. It’s a privilege to perform there, and it’s one we don’t take lightly or take for granted. This one has a feel of its own.”

In turn, long-time Cincinnati Music Festival promoter Joe Santangelo explained why he brings KEM back to the Cincinnati Music Festival year after year. “He’s one of the acts in my mind, which connects with the audience more than just about any act I know. That’s what we’re looking for, for people to come and have a positive experience, not just with a concert but with the overall experience of the festival. And I don’t know of anybody who does that better than KEM.” 

KEM went on to say “It’s good to work with a great promoter,” KEM said in return. “And that goes into the decision whether or not to do the show. There are a lot of festivals we don’t go back to. They go out of their way to make it pleasant for us, comfortable for us. It’s become a family event for us.”


Photo Credit: Roll Out

About the Cincinnati Music Festival

The Cincinnati Music Festival (CMF) began in 1962 and is one of the largest music festivals in the United States attracting over 75,000+ people from around the country with its roster of leading R&B, jazz, soul and hip-hop artists creating an economic impact of $11 million for Cincinnati. 

Procter & Gamble is the presenting sponsor for the Cincinnati Music Festival for the third year in a row. P&G is proud to #ShareTheRhythm at the 2017 Cincinnati Music Festival, connecting thousands of music lovers with the sights, sounds and spirit of the “Queen City” through musical entertainment, new experiences, and bringing P&G brands to life. 

Tickets for the Cincinnati Music Festival are on-sale at

The 2017 Cincinnati Music Festival line-up includes the following:

Thursday, July 27 Party with a Purpose:  Doug E Fresh, Kid Capri, Rob Base

Friday, July 28:  Mary J. Blige, KEM, SWV, En Vogue, Bell Biv Devoe, Ed Thomas

Saturday, July 29:  Usher, Fantasia, Anthony Hamilton, Confunkshun, Ro James

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