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Country stars to perform at Fort Knox

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Jennifer Nettles, Darius Rucker co-headline summer concert

By Gina Clear

For its annual summer concert series, Fort Knox Morale Welfare and Recreation is giving the community two country music headliners for the price of one.

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Jennifer Nettles, former lead singer of Sugarland, and Darius Rucker, former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, co-headline Fort Knox Summer Concert Series on Aug. 30 at Godman Army Airfield on post. Both have embarked on solo country music careers.

“It’s a unique opportunity for us to host both as co-headliners,” said Mark Wicker, event coordinator and chief of community recreation for Fort Knox MWR. “Both have fantastic country careers.”

In the past, concerts have attracted from 6,000 to 11,000 fans, Wicker said, and he hopes this year is no different.

“We’re hoping this is a sellout,” he said.

Former headliners for the concert series include ZZ Top, Toby Keith and Trace Adkins.

What makes the concert series — now in its 14th year — attractive to the community is the versatility of the artists, Wicker said.

“There’s a lot of crossover with Darius and Jennifer,” he said. “Hopefully they will attract more than country music fans.”

Adding to the attractiveness of the show is the price and convenience, Wicker said. Concert parking opens at 4 p.m. and gates open at 5:30. Tickets go on sale June 26 for a pre-sale special price of $35. Ticket prices increase after July 6 to $45. Tickets purchased the day of the show are $50. Parking is free.

“This level of concert is not possible without our sponsors,” Wicker said. “We’re very fortunate to see nationally recognized artists in the community’s backyard.”

With the duo Sugarland, Nettles, a Grammy award-winning artist, achieved eight No. 1 singles including “All I Want to Do” and “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” a duet with Bon Jovi.

Now on a solo tour, Nettles, a Mercury Nashville recording artist, performs songs from her album “That Girl.”

Rucker, since launching his solo country career in 2008, topped the charts with his first single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” followed by two more No. 1 songs. In 2009, he became the first black man to win the Country Music Association’s New Artist award.

In 2012, Rucker, a Grammy award winner and Capital Nashville recording artist, was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. His latest album, “True Believers,” includes “Wagon Wheel,” which reached No. 1 on the country airplay chart and the album’s fourth single, “Miss You,” is the latest release from it.

Opening at 6:30 p.m. for Nettles and Rucker is Brandy Clark. Although not new to the country music scene, Clark is attempting to establish herself as a performing artist with her first album, “12 Stories.”

She has recorded songs with Reba McEntire and Kenny Rogers and has written songs for artists such as The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves and Rucker. Clark also has opened for other artists including Rascal Flatts and Eric Church.

“I know my wife and I will be there,” said Col. T.J. Edwards, Fort Knox Garrison Commander. “And I hope others are just as excited as we are because this promises to be a concert folks will thoroughly enjoy.”

Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1746 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.