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Summerfest headliners since 1968: Find out who played the year you were born

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Posted at 1:11 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 12:29:57-04

MILWAUKEE — Summerfest officially released its 2022 lineup on March 29. It includes headliners like Justin Bieber, Jason Aldean, Wiz Khalifa, and the Backstreet Boys. But, it got us thinking... who were the headliners back in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s? Who were the headliners the years we were born?

Well, we asked Summerfest and they went through their records and compiled a list of the top five headliners from each year. The festival also tried to avoid repeating artists who have performed there many times.

Back in 1968, when Summerfest first opened, attendees were treated to not just music, but the Miss Milwaukee Pageant and Native American lore exhibits, films, and dances.

A few years later, the festival had iconic headliners like Jackson 5, The Doobie Brothers, and Johnny Cash.

Jackson 5

By the early 1980s, headliners included Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Rick Springfield, and Kenny Loggins.

The 90s saw Metallica, Bon Jovi, Tina Turner, and Pearl Jam.

Then we got into the 2000s when headliners consisted of Britney Spears, the Foo Fighters, Sheryl Crow, and Kid Rock.

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It's easy to see there have been plenty of impressive acts through the years, and the music style has definitely changed.

So, we asked a few TMJ4 staff members who was there when they were born. Here's what we found out:

During TMJ4 News Director Tim Vetscher's birth year, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, The Ohio Players, The Band, and John Sebastian were playing Summerfest.

Headliners at Summerfest on the year Anchor Steve Chamraz was born were the Beach Boys, James Taylor, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Bee Gees.

When TMJ4 anchor and reporter Tom Durian was born, Teddy Pendergrass, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, The Bar-Kays, and John Prine were headlining the festival.

Santana, Johnny Mathis, The Commodores, Bonnie Raitt, and Al Jarreau were all headlining when meteorologist Brian Niznansky was born.

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Tina Turner, Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, Spin Doctors, and Arrested Development were all headlining the year Reporter Taylor Lumpkin was born.

When Anchor and reporter Ryan Jenkins was born, Alanis Morissette, Def Leppard, LL Cool J, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Lenny Kravitz were headlining.

Want to know who was headlining when you were born? Take a look below!

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