MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Musicians from across the country came together Saturday night to celebrate the memory of one of the most prominent women in the Twin Cities music scene.

Sue McLean passed away this spring after a long battle with breast cancer.

She made a name for herself as a music promoter and had a talent for discovering up-and-comers.

Many of those artists she introduced to the public held a concert in her honor at First Avenue in Minneapolis

McLean booked the talent for the Basilica Block Party, concerts at the Minnesota Zoo and the Live at the Guthrie series.

She started working for a concert promotion team in the 70s before starting her own business. Her motto: “Live music is food for your soul.”

Singer-songwriter Paul Metsa, who has been on the Twin Cities music scene ever since McLean booked his very first gig 30 years ago, was there to honor his friend.

“She was one of the strongest women I had ever met,” Metsa said. “And had given me more opportunities, as she had most of the people playing her tonight. She was the kingpin, or the queenpin, of the Minneapolis music scene for 30 years.”

Last year, the concert industry trade publication Pollstar named McLean the “Top Independent Female Concert Promoter in the World.”

All of the proceeds raised from Saturday’s benefit will go to the Lilly McLean Fund, which was created to help Sue’s 12-year-old daughter.


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