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Brazilians to go Gaga at Rock in Rio festival

© AFP/File | Lady Gaga, seen here at the Toronto film festival, will headline the Rock in Rio festival


Rio de Janeiro's barely used Olympic Park will take center stage again Friday with the Rock in Rio festival headlined by Lady Gaga.

The superstar, currently on the Joanne World Tour ending in December, will kick off the concert with hits like "Million Reasons" and "Perfect Illusion."

It is her first appearance at Rock in Rio and has taken on new signficance for fans known as "Little Monsters" in the wake of her announcement that she will take a break following the tour. On Tuesday she said she suffers from fibromyalgia, a chronic disease causing body pain and fatigue.

Running for seven days -- Friday through Sunday and then again 21-24 September -- Rock in Rio will also be welcomed as a chance to put the huge facilities built for the 2016 Olympic Games back in use. Since the end of the Olympics they have hosted only sporadic events.

Joining the line-up are standard veterans including Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses and The Who, as well as the more alternative Incubus and The Kills.

Brazilian music lovers will be treated to the likes of legendary diva Elza Soares and rapper Rael. Adding to the star power will be supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who is due to use the occasion to campaign against destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

Despite Brazil only just starting to emerge from a painful recession, the 700,000 tickets to the event sold out months ago and city hotels are hoping to be nearly full, reversing a prolonged post-Olympic slump.

© 2017 AFP