Tone-Loc, Sugar Hill Gang to perform at Virtual Cheerwine Festival

Published 4:15 pm Monday, May 11, 2020

SALISBURY — Ranging from hip-hop, rap, R&B and pop, Saturday’s Virtual Cheerwine Festival will include performances from acts that include Sugar Hill Gang, Tone-Loc, Nathan Angelo and ACE Party Band.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the fourth annual festival has been moved online. The 2019 Cheerwine Festival brought a crowd estimated to be more than 60,000 people to downtown Salisbury.

“We’re grateful to all the Carolinians, and people across the country, who’ve joined us over the last few years in our hometown for the Cheerwine Festival, and we still wanted to do something special for them in 2020,” said Joy Ritchie Harper, vice-president of marketing for Cheerwine and fifth-generation founding family member.

Known as the first nationally popular African-American hip-hop group, Sugar Hill Gang is know for its 1979 hit single, “Rapper’s Delight.” It was the first hip-hop single to rank on the Top 40 hits and to become part of a multi-platinum selling album. “Rapper’s Delight” was ranked no. 36 hit on the U.S. pop chart and No. 4 on the Rhythm & Blues chart. Rolling Stone ranked “Rapper’s Delight No. 248 of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Mike Wright (Wonder Mike), Henry Jackson (Big Bank Hank) and Guy O’ Brien (Master Gee) still tour today.

Tone-Loc, a 1980s rap pioneer, was the second rap act to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s album charts.

His album Loc’d After Dark (1989) spawned the hit singles, “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina,” which are Loc’s best-known songs.

After recording his 1991 follow-up album, Cool Hand Loc, the singer put his familiar raspy voice to work on TV and in film, landing roles on the TV series Roc and in films including Jim Carrey’s breakthrough flick Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) and the animated sci-fi epic Titan A.E. (2000).

Nathan Angelo embraces classic elements of popular music and celebrating the backbeat of American tradition by integrating the Great American songbook, the flair of jazz and heartache of the Delta blues.

Angelo’s latest album “A Matter of Time” was released in August 2017 and reflects his journey through the life-altering experiences of becoming a father and facing his daughter’s rare, life-threatening metabolic disease. His daughter received a liver transplant in fall 2016, and Angelo’s album wrestles with the aches of adversity and celebrates the beauty of life and the hope he has for his daughter. A Matter of Time embraces the soul, classic R&B and piano-pop of some of Angelo’s more prominent influences — Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Elton John — while venturing into new sonic territory to compete with pop contemporaries like Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.

A Matter of Time debuted at No. 12 on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts and has garnered more than 2 million streams on Spotify.

ACE Party Band performs for all generations and includes music from all genres spanning over the past 50 years, from beach and Motown, to Top 40s, pop, rock, hip hop, R&B, country, and jazz standards.

The bands will perform as the Hotwire Communications virtual stage line-up.

The virtual festival is 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and can be viewed at or by searching for the event “The Virtual Cheerwine Festival” on Facebook.