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AC/DC charge up 2015 Coachella lineup with Jack White and Drake

/ Source: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Veteran Australian rockers AC/DC will headline the first night of this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, organizers Goldenvoice said on Tuesday, joining alt-rocker Jack White and hip hop star Drake as lead acts of the desert fest.

The festival, promoting the same three-night lineup over two consecutive weekends in the Southern California town of Indio, has a reputation for being the venue where top acts of the 1980s and 1990s reunite or kick off a tour in the hopes of drawing a new generation of fans.

Last year, Atlanta rappers Andre 3000 and Big Boi reunited after eight years as OutKast on the Coachella stage, while British rock groups Stone Roses and Blur reassembled in 2013 to headline the festival.

With more than 40 years in the business, AC/DC released its 15th studio album "Rock or Bust" in December 2014. The band, currently comprising Brian Johnson, Angus Young, Stevie Young, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd - all in their late 50s and 60s - will kick off the "Rock or Bust" live tour in May 2015 in the Netherlands.

It is not known if drummer Rudd will join the group after he was ordered in December to stay off drugs by a New Zealand judge. He was also charged with trying to set up a murder, which was later withdrawn because of lack of evidence.

Jack White, who has performed at Coachella in the past as the front man for The White Stripes, will headline the festival's Saturday lineup, while hip hop artist Drake will be the top act for the first time on Sunday.

Drawing crowds of more than 80,000 people, Coachella has grown into one of the top music festivals in North America since starting in 1999.

Previous festivals have featured headliners such as Prince, Kings of Leon, Beastie Boys, Madonna, Jay-Z and Kanye West.

The lineup of around 150 acts this year features established performers such as Interpol, Ryan Adams and Florence + the Machine, and rising stars that include Hozier, FKA Twigs and Kiesza.

While Coachella has returned to its rock music roots in recent years, it still features electronic dance music artists, including DJs David Guetta, Alesso and Kaskade, all big draws for the crowds dancing late into the desert night.

Tickets start at $375 and go on sale on Jan. 7 at 12 p.m. PST (3 p.m. EST).

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken and Andre Grenon)