American Idol’s Naima Adedapo takes the stage at Summerfest

MILWAUKEE — A taste of American Idol is coming back to Summerfest. This time, it’s Milwaukee’s own Naima Adedapo who’s entertaining the crowds at the Big Gig.

This is a sweet return for Adedapo — who used to work as one of the maintenance people on the Summerfest grounds.

‘I was with the ops crew, blue shirts! See there`s some right there, right there,” said Adedapo Friday. ‘My old bosses, and they`re all geeked up and Naima. So I`m just really happy to be here and I`m ready to rip the stage to pieces. I`m ready to put on a really good show.”

But before Adedapo’s show on the Briggs and Stratton stage Friday night, she already knew her surroundings. She used to perform something other than music there.

“The Briggs and Stratton stage is literally the stage before I went on Idol that I was cleaning every day. I was cleaning it every day and making sure everything was all spiffy,” said Adedapo.

Many of the people Adedapo used to work with here, like Briggs and Stratton stage manager Kenny Baldwin, haven’t forgotten her in the least.

“Some of the people she worked with on the grounds crew have come by in the last couple of days and said make sure that you tell her hi for us. Blah blah blah,” said Baldwin.

“I`m like every 2 feet I step, there`s somebody else I know and I`m hugging somebody or going hey. They`re like we`re proud of you,” said Adedapo.

While backstage, Adedapo gets the chance to return the compliment and make Baldwin’s day.

“You saw her sign the guitar before, that was, out of all the people that we`ve asked to sign various things on guitars and posters Harley Engines, that was a special one,” said Baldwin.

“I`m just happy to be able to kind of give back a little bit and have them say they`re proud of me and what I`ve done and accomplished in life,” said Adedapo.

And those in the blue shirts on the operations crew now understand exactly where Adedapo came from.

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