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Sanford to mark new hospital's opening with Fergie, Lionel Richie and Carson Wentz

Stacy Ferguson of Black Eyed Peas. Special to The Forum1 / 3
Honorary degree recipient and musician Lionel Richie is introduced during the Berklee College of Music Commencement Concert in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 12, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder2 / 3
Philadelphia Eagles first round pick quarterback Carson Wentz during his introduction media conference at NovaCare Complex Auditorium in Philadelphia on April 29, 2016. Bill Streicher / USA Today Sports3 / 3

FARGO -- Sanford Health is celebrating the grand opening of its new medical center with a concert for employees and their guests that will feature Fergie and Lionel Richie, with special guests including Carson Wentz.

“This is the one of the largest active hospital construction projects in the nation, and our employees worked incredibly hard for the last several years to deliver on our promise to build a new medical center in Fargo,” Sanford said in announcing the concert Monday, May 15. “We are thanking them with one evening where they can spend time together celebrating this momentous occasion.”

The concert and employee celebration will be June 21 on the grounds of the new medical center near the intersection of Veterans Boulevard and Interstate 94.

Sanford will host a community event on June 22 with tours of the new $494 million medical center that will be open to the public. More details will be provided in early June. The medical center opens July 25.

Sanford did not disclose the cost of the entertainers and grand opening celebration.

“The cost of the event is a private contract with the entertainers,” said Darren Huber, a Sanford spokesman. “It is a fraction of a percent of our annual budget.”

Sanford also held a concert for employees marking the groundbreaking of the hospital in 2012, hosting San Francisco rock band Train.

Two of the three celebrities announced Monday for the June 21 event have North Dakota ties.

Wentz, who grew up in Bismarck and was a quarterback of the North Dakota State University Bison football team, now is quarterback for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

Fergie is the wife of Minot native and Hollywood actor Josh Duhamel. Born Stacy Ann Ferguson, she is an American singer, songwriter and actress. She was the vocalist for the hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas.

Her debut solo album, “The Duchess,” was a major commercial success in 2006, generating three Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 singles.

Before becoming a singer, she acted in television, including as the voice of the Peanuts cartoon character Sally in two made-for-television movies. She began dating Josh Duhamel, a native of Minot, in 2004 and they were married in 2009.

Fergie was addicted to crystal methamphetamines and credited hypnotherapy with helping her overcome the addiction.

Beginning in 1968, Lionel Richie was a member of the black funk and soul band the Commodores. He is known for romantic, easy listening ballads, including “Three Times a Lady.”

His 1982 solo debut, “Lionel Richie,” produced three hit singles. He has helped raise more than $3.1 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

    Patrick Springer

    Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to letters@forumcomm.com

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