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Summer Celebration Announces First Artist.


Randy Houser to support

MUSKEGON, MI, March 30, 2010 – The Muskegon Summer Celebration has agreed to terms with Country Music Superstar Toby Keith to perform at this year’s event, on Sunday, June 27, as part of the Miller Lite Headline Artists. Also appearing that night will be up and coming Randy Houser and an act to be announced. “When the decision was made to bring in a top caliber national act last fall, Toby’s name came up as a possibility. Now that it has become reality, we are absolutely thrilled,” said Bryon Mazade, Board Chair. “This booking puts Summer Celebration on a new level!”

Toby Keith grew up on a farm near Oklahoma City and began playing guitar at the age of 8 and eventually performed in his grandmother’s Fort Smith supper club during the summertime. He also had a love for football through school, but after graduation went to work in the oil fields where he eventually became an operations manager. At the age of 20 he formed the band Easy Money with friends Scott Webb and Danny Smith. In 1982 he found himself unemployed and tried playing semi-pro football while continuing with Easy Money. In 1984 the band cut a single, “Blue Moon,” that received airplay on some local radio stations. That’s when Toby quit football and began to increase his touring schedule and recorded some songs for indie labels. He moved to Nashville in 1993 and released his first single, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” after inking a deal with Mercury records. The single rocketed to number one, and his debut album was certified platinum. Three more songs from the record, "Wish I Didn't Know Now," "A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action," and "He Ain't Worth Missing" made the Top Five, and the album sold over two million copies.

"Who's That Man," the lead single from his second album, Boomtown, was released in late 1994 and became his second number one; Boomtown hit stores in early 1995 and went gold with Top Ten hits "Upstairs Downtown" and "You Ain't Much Fun." After a holiday record, he returned with Blue Moon in 1996. Its first two singles, "A Woman's Touch" and "Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine on You," went Top Ten, and the third, "Me Too," gave Toby his third number one helping the album go platinum. Released in 1997, Dream Walkin' produced "We Were in Love" and the title track which were both Top Five hits, as was "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying," a duet with Sting. In 1999, Toby changed labels moving to the Nashville division of DreamWorks.

His label debut, How Do You Like Me Now?!, appeared in late 1999 and started to bring him wider recognition. The title cut went to number one on the country charts and brought him his first Top 40 pop hit; its follow-up, "Country Comes to Town," went Top Five, and "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This" also hit number one. Overall, the album had a rougher, brash attitude that gave Toby a stronger identity as a performer. It was also the first to bring him recognition through major industry awards, when in 2001 the Academy of Country Music named him Male Vocalist of the Year and named How Do You Like Me Now?! its Album of the Year. In the meantime, he became more visible in the mainstream media, making cameos on Touched by an Angel and in a Dukes of Hazzard TV reunion movie as well as co-starring in a series of telephone commercials. Later in 2001, his follow-up album, Pull My Chain, became his first to top the country charts and also his first Top Ten pop album. It spun off three number one singles: "I'm Just Talkin' About Tonight," "I Wanna Talk About Me," and "My List."

Toby was already a burgeoning superstar when he recorded "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" in the summer of 2002 as a response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Despite some controversy as a knee jerk reaction, the song went to number one on the country charts and crossed over into the pop Top 25. All of this set the stage for Unleashed in 2002 which debuted at number one on both the country and pop charts. "Who's Your Daddy?" was a number one country hit, and the duet with Willie Nelson, "Beer for My Horses," also made the country Top Ten.

In 2003 Toby released Shock'n Y'All, which despite its title was chock-full of enough rough-and-rowdy hits to once again connect hugely with heartland America. Honkytonk University followed in May 2005, the same year that Mercury released Chronicles, a collection of three of his biggest albums: Toby Keith, Boomtown, and Blue Moon. He then established his own record company, Show Dog Nashville, and in 2006 released the label's first record, the number two hit White Trash with Money. A year later he released Big Dog Daddy, the first album he produced himself, and also a holiday album, A Classic Christmas. That Don't Make Me a Bad Guy followed in 2008.
Also on the bill is Country singer and songwriter Randy Houser. Born and raised in Lake, MS, his love of music was apparent even as a young child. He started fronting bands when he was around 13 years old and continued playing local venues through high school. While attending East Central Community College he realized playing music had its financial rewards as well, and he began working on his songwriting. He also formed 10lb. Biscuit, and the band was quite well received on the local circuit. Randy Houser relocated to Nashville in 2002 and landed a song publishing deal. One of his songs, "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk," became a big hit for Trace Adkins in 2005. Houser began concentrating more on the performing side of things which eventually led to a record deal with Universal Records South. The label released his debut single, "Anything Goes," in May of 2008 followed later in the year by his debut album of the same name. The second single, “Boots On,” came out in 2009 and garnered a CMA Award nomination for Video of the Year, and Randy was also nominated for New Artist of the Year. A third act will be added in the near future.

Tickets for Sunday, June 27, go on sale this Friday, April 2, at 9:00 AM through Star Tickets. Prices are $47 for general admission, $57 for a Limited number of reserved seats in a special section approximately 150 feet from the stage, and $87 for Premier Seating on the left hand side of the stage (stage left). These prices are valid through April 30 when prices increase to $57, $67, and $97 respectively. These prices are INCLUSIVE of per ticket convenience fees. The only additional charge is a per order charge for phone and internet orders. PLEASE NOTE for this concert all patrons must have tickets except babes in arms. Tickets can be purchased through the internet at www.startickets.com or by phone (616) 222-4000 (in Grand Rapids) or toll free at 1-800-585-3737or in person at all Star Tickets outlets which include most Michigan Meijer Stores and the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts.
Ten and eleven day passes will be available this year as well at the Battle of the Bands at Club Envy on Friday and Saturday, April 23 & 24, at the 2010 Lakeshore Business Expo at the Trillium Banquet Center on Thursday, May 13, and at the Summer Celebration Street Party on Western Avenue on Friday, May 21. The 11-day passes, priced at $129, provide general admission to all the main stage concerts, including the June 27 Toby Keith show and one admission to the new Air Show June 26-27. There are a limited number of the 11-day passes. The 10-day pass, priced at $95, will allow general admission to 10 nights of great entertainment in the main stage area (excluding the Toby Keith concert) and one admission to the Air Show.

Look for further Miller Lite Headline Artists announcements within a couple of weeks. In the meantime stay tuned for more exciting news and stay in touch at our website, www.summercelebration.com, or become a fan through Facebook at www.facebook.com/summercelebration.

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