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Music icon Van Morrison added to Tanglewood lineup

Van Morrison performs

Van Morrison will perform in the Koussevitzsky Music Shed at Tanglewood on Sept. 4. 

LENOX — Van Morrison, the Northern Irish singer-songwriter best known for hits such as “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Moondance” and “Gloria,” is booked for a Tanglewood Popular Artists show on Labor Day weekend.

Morrison will perform on at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced on Monday.

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Tickets, ranging from $35 to $189, go on sale at 10 a.m. April 1 at tanglewood.org or by phone at 888-266-1200.

Morrison’s spring and fall U.S. tour includes 13 other shows scheduled so far, beginning in Florida next month and ending in Las Vegas in October. This won’t be his first Berkshire concert: Van Morrison headlined a show in 1973 at the storied Music Inn on the Lenox/Stockbridge line, just down the road from Tanglewood.

Sir George Ivan Morrison, 76, is also a multi-instrumentalist and record producer who has won two Grammy Awards during his seven-decade career that began in the late 1950s.

Performing as Van Morrison, he became a hitmaker in the mid-1960s when he recorded the classic “Gloria” with the band Them, based in Northern Ireland.

His solo career blossomed in 1967 when his single “Brown Eyed Girl” was released. In 1970, his first album, “Moondance” launched him as one of rock’s major artists. It was followed throughout the ’70s with sold-out shows and more critically and popularly acclaimed albums.

His style, “Celtic soul” blends soul, R&B, jazz and improvised narratives, notably in the “Astral Weeks” album. Critics have called his shows and recordings “transcendental” and “inspiring.”

Eighteen of his albums made the top 40 Billboard charts in the U.S., 12 of them between 1997 and 2017. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2016, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the music industry and to tourism in Northern Ireland.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Morrison crusaded against social distancing measures which shut down live music events, urging a “fight” against “pseudo-science.”

He released three new songs in September 2020 as protest messages against COVID-19 lockdowns in the United Kingdom, and accused the British government of “taking our freedom,” according to published reports. The BBC condemned the songs’ lyrics as alluding to a conspiracy theory about COVID-19.

He had performed socially distanced concerts previously, but said that the shows were not a sign of “compliance.”

He has been sued by Northern Ireland’s health minister after Morrison called him “very dangerous” for his handling of coronavirus restrictions, according to Billboard magazine.

Last June, The Times of London reported that “fittingly for someone who has been so vocally opposed to the lockdown. ... Van Morrison played one of the first big-scale concerts in London since events, albeit tentatively, started up again.” The critic Will Hodgkinson wrote that the show “was as good an argument for the return of live music as you could wish for.”

Tanglewood has booked 10 Popular Artists shows so far for this summer. The previously announced lineup includes Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band (June 17), Bonnie Raitt with Lucinda Williams (June 18), The Mavericks and Nick Lowe with Los Straitjackets (June 26), The Black Crowes Present Shake Your Money Maker (June 29), James Taylor (July 3 and 4), Earth, Wind & Fire (Aug. 8), Brandi Carlile with Indigo Girls (Aug. 30) and Judy Collins with Richard Thompson (Sept. 3).

Tickets for all Tanglewood 2022 season concerts other than Morrison’s, including all other Popular Artists concerts, are currently available at tanglewood.org or by calling 888-266-1200.

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