Clearly, Toby Keith's got friends in low places.
Moved by the May 20 devastation an EF5 tornado wrought in his hometown, the Oklahoma country music hit-maker has recruited three Country Music Hall of Famers, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and a slew of fellow superstars to play his Twister Relief Concert on July 6 at the University of Oklahoma's Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
The Clinton native, 51, also hosted a benefit concert after the May 3, 1999, tornado that ravaged Moore.
“I grew up in Moore, I live in Norman and I've got lots of family and friends who were directly affected. I know these folks and they're resilient, but we're going to keep helping them any way we can. I'm proud to get together with some others from around here who are just as committed as I am to supporting these communities,” Keith said in a news release.
The original show lineup included Keith, Owasso residents Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn and Texas icon Willie Nelson. Former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar and respected country singers Mel Tillis and John Anderson were added this week.
Performers aren't the only additions to the concert: Ford Trucks, Verizon, Walmart and the Academy of Country Music's charitable arm, Lifting Lives, have joined as sponsors. Sponsorship donations and underwriting of the concert will allow 100 percent of ticket proceeds to benefit Oklahoma tornado recovery efforts, according to the release.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or at Homeland stores. All seats are $25 (taxes and fees included), and reserved, with an eight-ticket purchase limit. Net proceeds (minus credit card merchant fees and Oklahoma sales tax) will benefit the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund.
Taken together, the star-studded lineup boasts numerous hits and accolades — Brooks, Tillis and Nelson will represent the Country Music Hall of Fame, while Hagar is part of its rock 'n' roll counterpart — but it's the Oklahomans on the bill who are sure to draw plenty of fans. And not just because of their Sooner State ties.
In the past several years, Keith has rarely played in his home state and then mostly for special events like the 2005 Oklahoma City National Memorial anniversary concert and 2007 Oklahoma Centennial Spectacular.