NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Music Legends Toby Keith & ALABAMA Co-Headline
“Country Kickoff to Labor Day Weekend” September 2nd
Pre-show Performance by Michael Ray While Singer, Songwriter & Producer Blanco Brown Serves as Host for the One-Night-Only Event
Tickets On Sale August 13th at EncoreNights.com
NASHVILLE, AUGUST 10, 2021 — Country Kickoff to Labor Day Weekend featuring music legends Toby Keith & ALABAMA with a pre-show performance by hitmaker Michael Ray and hosted by Blanco Brown will jump-start the end-of-summer party across North America on September 2nd. The star-studded concert event will be the tailgating party of the season at hundreds of outdoor movie theaters across North America for one amazing night only.
Country Kickoff to Labor Day Weekend will include exclusive content and never-before-seen recorded concerts by Toby Keith & ALABAMA, two of the best-selling music acts of all time. With three No. 1's and five RIAA Gold-certified singles, country music star Michael Ray will also perform as the night’s opening act, featuring his current Top 25 and climbing single "Whiskey And Rain," while multi-platinum artist, songwriter, producer, and TrailerTrap creator Blanco Brown, who is known for blending the sounds of country and hip hop, serves as host for the night’s festivities as the event is streamed to hundreds of outdoor movie screens around the United States and Canada. Fans are encouraged to bring their friends and family, get out of their cars and dance while cranking the concert through their car speakers and radios.
“Have a great Labor Day and enjoy the show!” said Toby Keith.
“Over the years, we’ve performed in every type of venue and recorded our music across every type of format, and this night is really shaping up to be one of the coolest we’ve been a part of,” says ALABAMA’s Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry in a joint statement. “To reach fans in big cities and small towns all across the country with the same show is going to make for not only an awesome concert experience but a heck of an outdoor tailgate party too!”
“A few of the best things about Labor Day are soaking up the last few days of summer and kicking back to enjoy some of your favorite music,” said Walter Kinzie, CEO of Encore Nights, which is producing the all-star show. “There’s no other event that will offer everyone all of these things simultaneously the way that Country Kickoff to Labor Day will. Fans can tailgate, enjoy the party and sing along to some of the greatest bands ever!”
The Toby Keith and ALABAMA performances were specially filmed for this one-night-only event in Nashville and Fort Payne, Alabama, respectively. The co-headlining acts will provide music fans an unparalleled concert-going and tailgating experience in a fun, family-friendly environment.
Widely regarded as two of the most successful music groups in history, Toby Keith & ALABAMA will share the screen and play chart-topping hits and new songs amassed over their hugely successful careers. Country Kickoff to Labor Day Weekend was produced by Encore Nights, the pioneering company behind drive-in and outdoor shows featuring Bon Jovi, Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks, Metallica, Kane Brown, Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani. Tickets go on sale on Friday, August 13th at encorenights.com and start at $56 per car.
For more information, visit encorenights.com.
Country Kickoff to Labor Day Weekend
Country Kickoff to Labor Day Weekend is the summer's best outdoor concert and tailgating experience. Enjoy live and exclusively recorded concert experiences from some of the most iconic entertainers in music. Dance and sing along to never-before-seen shows with the biggest stars in an unforgettable evening out with friends and family.
About Toby Keith
The familiar maxim of the triple threat – singer, songwriter, musician – doesn't begin to cover it for Toby Keith, one of the modern era's most complete self-directed hit makers. And Keith's most recent years are a remarkably accurate representation of his entire career. In 2021, he was bestowed the National Medal of Arts to honor his artistic achievements and contributions to the arts and culture of America, as well as inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and honored with the Academy of Country Music's prestigious Merle Haggard Spirit Award for "following his own path, crafting great songs and epitomizing Merle's spirit." In October he will release a new studio album, Peso In My Pocket, that led with the single “Old School” which debuted at the highest radio entrance of his career on Billboard’s airplay chart.
In 2018, he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his debut No. 1 single, “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” with the re-release of his debut album (remastered with the addition of three vault tracks). From the moment that song was released and shot up the charts to become his first No. 1, the engine driving everything has been the music. Toby has sold more than 40 million albums and has 32 #1 hit singles. He wrote a #1 hit every year for 20 straight years, including “Who’s That Man,” “Me Too,” “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” “You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This,” “I’m Just Talkin’ About Tonight,” “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American),” “Who’s Your Daddy?,” “Beer For My Horses,” “I Love This Bar,” “American Soldier,” “Whiskey Girl,” “As Good As I Once Was," “She Never Cried in Front of Me,” “God Love Her,” and “Made in America.” And there have been some unexpected highlights along the way as well, including country's most impactful viral event, "Red Solo Cup," the video for which has received more than 60 million views and was named ACM Video of the Year. In 2018, Keith also released a new song, “Don’t Let The Old Man In,” which was inspired by a conversation he had with Clint Eastwood and was later featured in Eastwood’s movie, “The Mule.” In 2015, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in New York City. With more than 10 billion streams and 96 million BMI performances, his 2021 Toby Keith’s Country Comes To Town Tour is his 19th consecutive headlining tour.
Toby's most rewarding experiences, however, have come from giving back locally, nationally and abroad. His annual golf classics fund the Toby Keith Foundation and OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home for families of children dealing with critical illnesses. His 11 USO Tours to date have enhanced the lives of nearly 256,000 troops and military families in 18 countries with more than 285 events, and have been recognized with the Spirit of the USO Award (2014). And when a tornado ravaged his hometown, Toby Keith was the face of the community and helped shoulder the cleanup with the 2013 OK Twister Relief Concert. Triple threat? How about singer, songwriter, musician, producer, entertainer, humanitarian, Oklahoman and patriot. For starters.
It's been over 50 years since Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen left the cotton farms of Fort Payne, Alabama to spend the summer playing music in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina bar called The Bowery. It's a classic American tale of rags to riches. From humble beginnings picking cotton in the fields to international stars, ALABAMA went on to sell 80 million albums and change the face and sound of country music. Quality songs that have become the soundtrack for American life are the foundation for ALABAMA's stellar career. The group introduced rock style guitars, lights, pyrotechnics and sounds to the country audience that has inspired many of today's brightest country stars including Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. While their music continues to stand the test of time, their numbers and stats are beyond compare. Five decades since starting the band, ALABAMA has charted 43 #1 singles, including 21 #1 singles in a row, and have won dozens of CMA, GRAMMY®, and ACM Awards. They are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame and have their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition, they are world-class philanthropists who have raised millions of dollars for various charities.
About Michael Ray
For Michael Ray, music is his grandfather singing and sweating on a rural Florida stage. It’s the childhood refuge he found during the pain of his parents’ divorce. It’s family and stories, history and hope. Ray says music saved him, but it did even more: Music made him. In four short years, Ray has built an impressive foundation. Three No. 1 songs – “Kiss You in the Morning,” “Think a Little Less,” and “One That Got Away” – plus “Get to You” and “Her World or Mine,” brings his tally to five Gold-certified singles. The poignant “Her World or Mine” from his sophomore album Amos also produced a video that has captured more than 26 million YouTube views since its debut less than a year ago. Now, two hit albums into that all-too-rare blend of critically acclaimed and commercially successful career, Ray has released “Whiskey and Rain,” the first single off his Higher Education EP, set for release Aug. 27, was produced by GRAMMY-nominated song whisperer Ross Copperman. Proof that heartbroken wallowing can feel good if it swings, “Whiskey And Rain” has surpassed 38 million streams since its release, cementing Ray as the ideal bridge between vintage country cool and modern country’s best sounds. Catch Ray this summer on his 21-stop Just The Way I Am Tour, wrapping this fall at Tortuga Music Festival. Learn more about Ray at MichaelRayMusic.com or follow him on Instagram and Twitter @MichaelRayMusic and Facebook.com/MusicMichaelRay.
About Blanco Brown
Blurring the lines between Country and hip-hop music, Blanco Brown makes a southern sound that he proudly calls "TrailerTrap." It's a boundary-breaking, multicolored genre of his very own — which draws upon the rawness and storytelling abilities of his two biggest musical influences, Johnny Cash and Outkast. His debut album, Honeysuckle & Lightning Bugs, shows off the full range of its creator, who juggled multiple roles as the project's songwriter, producer, vocalist, visionary, and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, harmonica, lap steel, spoons, tambourine, to name a few). Since 2014, Blanco has been honing in on his unique sound, which is a mix of countrified influences and street-smart lingo, that balances both the urban and rural settings in which he grew up. His viral hit “The Git Up” (certified 3x PLATINUM) took the world by storm, claiming the top spot in charts across the global and spawning nearly four billion views across social platforms. It claimed the #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for 12 weeks and was the top-selling digital Country song in the US for 13 weeks resulting in Billboard naming him as their #1 Top New Country Artist for 2019. The music video, which premiered across CMT, MTV, BET and Nick, earned more than 20 million YouTube views in a month. In addition to being named Billboard’s “7 Country Acts to Watch in 2019," the Georgia native is a background singer, artist and Grammy-nominated engineer who has worked with big name talent including Fergie, Childish Gambino, Kane Brown and Chris Brown. The multi-talent’s multi-national multi-Platinum-certified collaboration “Just the Way” with Parmalee is currently in the Top 20 on Hot AC and has garnered more than 200 million on-demand streams in the US alone to become Brown’s first No. 1 hit on Country radio (peaking at No. 1 in the US and Canada). In September 2020 Brown was in a life-threatening accident and has been recovering, leaning on creating music to heal—the first taste of his new music, “Nobody’s More Country,” is out now on all digital platforms.
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