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Summer concerts 2018: Women we love

One of the most difficult things about being a woman in 2018 has to be watching men stumble around breaking everything. Most of the time we’ve not only ignored responsibility for the damage, but we’ve refused to acknowledge anything’s even broken. Then, we play golf.

In her acceptance speech at the Billboard Music Awards May 20, Janet Jackson described what she sees as a turning point in how women are respected in today’s shattered culture. I don’t know about that, but it’s an example of the optimism and selfless humanity that many women seem to have in abundance.

If we’re looking for a repair manual for these troubled times, it may be found in 10 women on their way to South Florida for the 2018 summer concert season. Jackson, Taylor Swift, Kesha, Janelle Monae, Lauryn Hill, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Shania Twain, Miranda Lambert and Shakira come to the conversation from different points on the arc of fame, but each has an empowering story to tell.

Here are some of the best shows during the 2018 summer concert season in South Florida. A few of them by men.

LOTOS Music Festival: The fourth annual festival in Boca Raton includes some of the acts that defined hip-hop beginning in the early 1990s, including Cypress Hill, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Slick Rick, the Pharcyde and their forefathers in South Florida legends 2 Live Crew. Another act to look forward to is Everlast, who found his true voice after his time with “Jump Around” boys House of Pain, with socially conscious songs including “What It’s Like,” “I Get By” and the Santana collaboration “Put Your Lights On.” 4 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at Mizner Park Amphitheatre, Boca Raton. Tickets: $49.50+. LOTOSMusicFest.com

Shania Twain: On the road with “NOW,” her first album in more than 15 years, after a nearly career-ending case of Lyme disease, Twain has impressed critics with a two-hour cavalcade of sing-along hits, fashionable outfits and aw-shucks banter that steers clear of her controversial thoughts on presidential politics. As she sings on “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”: “Ain’t gonna act politically correct, I only wanna have a good time.” 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 1, BB&T Center, Sunrise. Tickets: $35.70+. Ticketmaster.com

Luis Miguel: The Grammy-winning Latin-music superstar has two shows in Miami, each nearly sold out, on the tour named for his double-platinum album “¡México por Siempre!” The famously discreet performer (hard when you’ve dated Mariah Carey) is also the subject of an authorized biopic miniseries currently airing on Telemundo. 8:30 p.m. June 1-2, AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami. Tickets: $149.95+. Ticketmaster.com.

Harry Styles: Proof that One Direction was less than the sum of its parts, Styles is still on the tour supporting his self-titled debut album, a transcendent collection of soulful guitar grooves that landed on many critics’ best-of lists last year. Kacey Musgraves opens. 8 p.m. June 9, BB&T Center, Sunrise. Tickets: $45.25+. Ticketmaster.com

Audra McDonald: “Sing Happy” is the title of the Broadway and television star’s album from the Great American Songbook, but if we’re lucky, she’ll also break out “The Facebook Song,” an elegantly profane rant about receiving a friend request from an ex. 8 p.m. June 13, Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets: $25+. BrowardCenter.org.

Maroon 5: Pop kingpins Adam Levine and band — which one wit called “Hall and six Oates” — are touring with music from “Red Pill Blues,” an album that probably underperformed in adding just one title to Maroon 5’s list of 13 Top 10 singles, the SZA collaboration “What Lovers Do.” 7:30 p.m. June 17, BB&T Center, Sunrise. Tickets: $45+. Ticketmaster.com

Luke Bryan: The “American Idol” judge’s sunny open-mindedness is all over “Most People Are Good," the latest of 12 straight No. 1 hits on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, and the new song that may be next, the instant summer anthem "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset." 7 p.m. June 21, Coral Sky Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach. Tickets: $38+. LiveNation.com

The Pixies and Weezer: The Pixies put on one of the best shows at SunFest 2015, with classics “Where Is My Mind,” “Hey” and “Debaser” adding an exuberant moshiness to the relaxed proceedings on the West Palm Beach waterfront. The bands’ 2018 co-headlining tour kicks off in West Palm Beach, with a rumored secret Pixies show, calling themselves Debaser, at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale June 21. 7:30 p.m. June 22, Coral Sky Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach. Tickets: $25+. LiveNation.com

Sam Smith: His life-changing debut album, “In the Lonely Hour” (four Grammys), set the bar impossibly high, but Smith’s followup, “The Thrill of It All,” includes one instant classic, “Too Good at Goodbyes,” and “Pray,” a memorable moment of soulful supplication given poignant urgency by rapper Logic. 8 p.m. July 14, AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami. Tickets: $31+. Ticketmaster.com

Janelle Monae: The singer has said that writing the music on the album “Dirty Computer” lifted her from a dark place. She told Vanity Fair: “This is the era of dirty computer. There’s a lot of bull---- going on in this world, and it took me some time to articulate, and as angry as I have been at the way we have been portrayed in the media, spoken to by the leader of the free world and that regime, I chose love.” 7:30 p.m. July 27, Fillmore Miami Beach. Tickets: $45+. LiveNation.com

Dave Matthews Band: A South Florida summer ritual interrupted last year when the band went on hiatus from the road, DMB will come bearing music from its first album in six years, “Come Tomorrow,” set for release June 8. 8 p.m. July 27-28, Coral Sky Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach. Tickets: $45.50+. Ticketmaster.com

Britney Spears: The one-time pop ingénue has vamped herself into an impossible corner of expectation, where fans hungry for a nostalgia fix require her to supply the familiar moves along with the music. The 36-year-old Spears’ own marketing of her upcoming Piece of Me tour has included impressive Instagram coverage of her workouts. “Work B**ch,” indeed. 8 p.m. July 27-29, Hard Rock Live at the Event Center, Hollywood. Tickets are sold out; resale starts at $255. Ticketmaster.com

Lauryn Hill: Her 1998 debut, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” was a work of astonishing perfection, perhaps explaining why it remains Hill’s only solo studio album. Her tour honoring the LP’s 20th anniversary has gotten a bump from Drake’s wise decision to sample Hill’s “Ex Factor” on his hit single “Nice for What,” which, if there is any justice, has educated a new generation on the brilliance of “Miseducation.” 6 p.m. July 31, Bayfront Park Amphitheatre, Miami. Tickets: $37+. LiveNation.com

Kesha and Macklemore: Kesha is on the cover of June’s Cosmopolitan, the magazine’s Fearless Issue, in which she discusses fame, pain and her now-resolved body issues. No one sounds more comfortable in their own skin: “I’ve taken ownership of myself. I’m taking control of my life and my name and the music it’s attached to. I’m not, like, a sad sap now. There are a couple of ballads, but my show is still extremely fun. I’m not going to be less crazy. There’s an awesome band, and there’s dancing and glitter. That’s a promise I will keep — there will always be glitter.” 7 p.m. Aug. 4, AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami. Tickets: $27+. Ticketmaster.com

Miranda Lambert: One of the most popular stars in country music is again ensnared in another social-media kerfuffle over the comings and goings in her romantic life. But here’s news: On Instagram last weekend (May 19), Lambert again teased new music on the way from the beloved trio Pistol Annies. Little Big Town is the opening act. 7 p.m. Aug. 4, Coral Sky Amphitheater, West Palm Beach. Tickets: $37+. LiveNation.com.

Janet Jackson: The complicated balance beam of strength and confidence and idealistic authenticity and vulnerability that female artists must walk has had no better role model than Jackson, who became a pop star and a business mogul during three consecutive extraordinary studio albums: “Control” (1986), “Rhythm Nation” (1989) and “Janet” (1993). Her recent Billboard Awards performance was undone by poor sound and distracting choreography (and who picked “Nasty”?), but Jackson found her voice while accepting the Icon Award, celebrating a “glorious moment in history” for women “a moment at long last when we will no longer be controlled, manipulated or abused. I stand with those women, and with those men equally outraged by discrimination who support us in heart and mind.” 8 p.m. Aug. 5, AmericanAirlines Arena. Tickets: $25+. Ticketmaster.com

J. Cole: After standing in the shadow of death on “4 Your Eyez Only,” rap music’s righteous knight errant explores more desolate terrain on the recently released “KOD,” a modern culture anesthetized by drugs, alcohol, money and loneliness. Can he get an amen? Young Thug opens. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9, AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami. Tickets: $45.50+. Ticketmaster.com

Shakira: The Colombian star of still-growing global popularity (her first show in Israel is July 9 in Tel Aviv) will finally bring her El Dorado Tour to South Florida for three performances, originally scheduled for January and postponed by problems with her vocal cords. Shakira, 41, is another performer anxious to prove her fitness in advance of her tour, with a recent series of Instagram posts. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15, BB&T Center, Sunrise. Tickets: $39+. Ticketmaster.com. 7:30 p.m. Aug 17-18, AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami. Tickets: $45+. Ticketmaster.

Taylor Swift: One of the most rewarding concerts I’ve ever experienced was Swift’s 2015 show in Miami on her “1989” tour, accompanied by my daughter, then 9. Swift delivered her hits with the required theatricality (elevating catwalk, star turns by Pitbull and Ricky Martin), but what resonated was her efforts — sincere and self-deprecating — to engage her young, female audience. In her gentle messages of empowerment, she did not urge these wide-eyed young people to lend their voices to any particular cause, other than in service of compassion and tolerance. But she made sure they knew they have a voice. Camila Cabello and Charli XCX open. 7 p.m. Aug. 18, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens. Tickets: $49.50+. Ticketmaster.com

Paul Simon: By the time he reaches South Florida, Simon will be in the final stretch of Homeward Bound — the Farewell Tour, with five shows to go before he arrives in New York for three tour-closing performances. In his recent review of opening night in Vancouver, the New York Times’ Jon Pareles found an artist still tinkering in the depths of his catalog, bringing new possibilities to favorite songs, including an “exultant” version of “Late in the Evening.” Backed by the obligatory video screen, “the tour’s real special effects are its arrangements and orchestrations,” Pareles wrote. 8 p.m. Sept. 8, BB&T Center, Sunrise. Tickets: $45+. Ticketmaster

Drake and Migos: The Summer of Drake, defined so far by the singles “God’s Plan” and “Nice for What,” will be cemented with the release (June?) of the album “Scorpion” and his tour with Migos, which at this point includes two Florida shows, both in Miami, where he is especially loved for giving away thousands of dollars in cash while filming the video for “God’s Plan.” 7 p.m. Sept. 21-22, AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami. Tickets: $84.50+. Ticketmaster.com

Christina Aguilera: Any intrigue over where Aguilera’s voice might be these days was dispelled during her soaring duet with Demi Lovato at the Billboard Music Awards, a fiery rendition of their feminist anthem “Fall in Line.” The 37-year-old’s comeback begins this summer with the tour supporting her first album in six years, due out June 15. She’s called it “Liberation.” 8 p.m. Sept. 25, Hard Rock Event Center, Hollywood. Tickets: $187+. Ticketmaster.com

David Byrne: The musical globalist puts an exclamation point on the season with his 12-piece band providing a showcase for his first solo album in 14 years, “American Utopia.” Byrne has described the record as a depiction of “who we are, who we hope to be.” 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29, Fillmore Miami Beach. Tickets: $59+. LiveNation.com

(Other notable summer shows: Royal Blood at Revolution Live June 11, Hall & Oates and Train at the BB&T Center June 24, Kaskade at Story June 29, Boy George and Culture Club with the B-52s at Pompano Beach Amphitheater July 1, Erasure at the Fillmore Miami Beach July 6, Smashing Pumpkins at AmericanAirlines Arena July 24, Donavon Frankenreiter at the Culture Room July 27, O.A.R. and Matt Nathanson at the Pompano Beach Amphiteater Aug. 3, Imagine Dragons at Coral Sky Amphiteatre Aug. 9, Bomba Estereo at the Fillmore Miami Beach Aug. 11, Charlie Puth at Coral Sky Amphitheatre Sept. 1, Wayne Kramer and MC50 at Revolution Live Sept. 5, Dierks Bentley at Coral Sky Amphitheatre Sept. 14, Sting and Shaggy at the Fillmore Miami Beach Sept. 15, Rainbow Kitten Surprise at Revolution Live Sept. 19, Niall Horan at Coral Sky Amphitheatre Sept. 23, Father John Misty at the Fillmore Miami Beach Sept. 28.)

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