Grammy-winning singer Janelle Monae recently added another milestone to her life: opening for legendary hip hop group Outkast at its 20th anniversary concert. Monae was part of the show on Friday, September 26 that kicked off the three-day Outkast festival dubbed #ATLast held in the group’s hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.
#ATLast was held at the Centennial Olympic Park, where Monae performed on Friday along with other opening acts 2 Chainz, Future and Bun B. Monae and the other opening acts warmed the crowd sufficiently for Outkast’s whopping two-hour set, which saw the group performing classics such as “Ms. Jackson” and “Rosa Parks”. Present at Friday’s concert in the audience were fellow artists and special guests Jermaine Dupri and Usher.
Monae was part of a roster of opening acts reportedly curated by Outkast to rival some of this year’s major festival lineups. Other opening acts included artists such as B.o.B., Raury, Childish Gambino, Kid Cudi and K Camp. Meanwhile, some esteemed collaborators of Outkast also joined the performances at #ATLast, namely Erykah Badu, 8 Ball & MJG, Pastor Troy, Sleepy Brown, Killer Mike and Big Gipp.
— HitFix (@HitFix) September 24, 2014
Being part of #ATLast was not just an honor for Monae but also a chance to pay tribute to a person who was instrumental in her career, Big Boi of Outkast. She met Big Boi in 2001 when she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, which led to her inclusion in the Outkast album Idlewild, featuring in the songs “Call the Law” and “In Your Dreams.” Big Boi also introduced Monae to Sean Combs, who was impressed by her performances on her MySpace page and signed her to Bad Boy Records in 2006.
In 2007, Monae relesed Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). Bad Boy Records later re-released the album as Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Special Edition) in 2008 with two new tracks. The record garnered her a nomination for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the single “Many Moons” at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, signaling the start of Monae’s glory in the mainstream spotlight.