SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois State Fair announced yet another act to perform at the Illinois Lottery Grandstand stage in August.

Fair officials welcome Grammy award-winning rap superstar Nelly to close out the fair’s concert lineup on Sunday, August 20. Joining Nelly on the Grandstand stage is Grammy award-winning artist Ashanti and Grammy-nominated rapper Ja Rule, they said.

Nelly is described by state fair officials as a diamond-selling and multi-platinum rapper, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and actor. He has continually raised the bar for the entertainment industry since emerging on the music scene in 2000 with his distinctive vocals and larger-than-life personality, officials said.

In 2021, Nelly’s country album “Heartland” made Billboard’s Top Ten Country Album charts. St. Louis native is currently preparing to release a new album titled “Heartland Part 2” with a new single coming soon.

The fair said opener Ashanti is a singer-songwriter, actor, and author whose career has spanned two decades. The R&B artist has released six studio albums and has received eight Billboard Awards, a Grammy, two American Music Awards, two Soul Train Awards, and six ASCAP Awards.

Nelly’s other opener is Ja Rule whose debut single titled “Holla Holla” became a hit, making it onto the Billboard Hot 100, that was only the beginning of his successful career. His second studio album titled “Rule 3:36” featured his first crossover hit titled “Between You and Me,” which earned Top 40 airplay and landed the R&B artist back on the Billboard Top 100.

“We are excited to welcome Nelly along with Ashanti and Ja Rule to the Illinois State Fair Grandstand stage this summer,” said State Fair Manager, Rebecca Clark. “The large catalog of hits from all three artists reaches music fans from multiple generations. It is a concert you are not going to want to miss.”

Tickets for Nelly’s performance range in price from $45-110, and go on sale Friday, May 5 at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.

The Illinois State Fair previously announced four acts scheduled to perform at the Illinois Lottery Grandstand stage during the state fair’s 10 days, Aug. 10-20. These include country band Old Dominion, rock legends REO Speedwagon, rock bands Alter Bridge with Mammoth WVH, and country artist Maren Morris. Tickets for all other announced shows are on sale via Ticketmaster too.

A $30 Pre-Show Party ticket is offered as an additional upgrade for all paid concerts, officials said.

If you want to experience the Illinois State Fair sooner than August, you can on May 6 with the 100 Days Out Fair, Fun & Food Kickoff Party from noon – 6 p.m. inside the Village of Cultures on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Fair officials said the free event will feature fair food favorites, children’s activities, live music, a celebrity dunk tank, and rides down the Giant Slide.

More information about the 2023 Illinois State Fair can be found online.