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UPDATED: Tickets on sale this morning to Toby Keith's Twister Benefit Concert

by Brandy McDonnell Modified: June 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm •  Published: June 21, 2013
Toby Keith
Toby Keith

Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert Norman, OK

UPDATE  12:35 p.m. Friday: Apparently, all available tickets to Toby Keith’s Twister Benefit Concert have sold out. This message was posted moments ago on Toby Keith’s official Twitter feed (@TobyKeithMusic): “As of this time, there are no #TKOKrelief tickets avail. Once we finalize production, it is possible that there will be addt’l tix released!” -BAM

A version of this column appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.

Tickets on sale Friday (today) to Toby Keith’s Twister Benefit Concert
Keith, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Mel Tillis and John Anderson are set to play the July 6 show at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

 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 Benefit Concert 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, Wal-Mart, 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 (today) online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or at Homeland store locations. All seats are $25 (all taxes and fees included), all seats 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.

Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. July 6, the show will begin at 3 p.m., and with the eclectic lineup Keith has assembled, music is sure to be playing well into the night.

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.

For Brooks, who retired from touring and recording in 2001, Oklahoma performances have become even rarer. The Tulsa native, 51, last played in his home state in July 1997. Brooks appeared but did not sing at the Centennial Spectacular and 2008 BOK Center grand opening.

Surprisingly, the semiretired superstar will play two shows in two states in one day to participate in Keith’s benefit show. Brooks will open the charity concert in Norman and then fly out to perform a previously booked return engagement at the Wynn Las Vegas that night, according to his publicist.

In December 2011, Brooks and Yearwood played a series of nine arena shows in Nashville that raised $5 million for the flood relief efforts in Tennessee. But Yearwood’s concert appearances also have become less frequent in recent years, as the Grammy winner has focused on her second career as a cookbook author and cooking show host. On Sunday, her Food Network show “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” shared in a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Culinary Program. with another Food Network show, “Best Thing I Ever Made.”

For Dunn, who was passing through Oklahoma on May 20 and fled to safety just before the Moore tornado hit, the Twister Benefit Concert won’t be the first time he’s played the Sooner State since his 2010 Oklahoma City and Tulsa shows on Brooks & Dunn’s farewell tour. But it will certainly constitute his biggest Oklahoma concert appearance since the superstar duo split.

Dunn, who has played multiple solo casino shows in the Sooner State since he parted ways with Kix Brooks, recently launched his own Little Willie Records and used it to release this month two new digital singles “Country This” and “Kiss You There.” Surely, those new songs will appear on his July 6 set list.

“The ultimate goal is to put as much money and aid in the hands of the people affected by the tornadoes throughout Oklahoma as we can,” Dunn said on RonnieDunn.com. “Money is no substitute for the horrific loss of life that this disaster has caused but it can rebuild homes and aid in the replenishment of hope that is an indispensable element to recovery in so many ways. Even before Toby officially announced that he was going to do a benefit concert, we were working behind the scenes to do everything within our powers to enlist friends from the private and business sectors to join in and participate.

“The response has been overwhelming. Human compassion and decency has rallied to overshadow the vanity of celebrity. I’m proud to be joining Toby, Garth, Willie and Trisha to use what we do – performing music – to help.”

GOING ON

Toby Keith Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert

Featuring: Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, Willie Nelson, Mel Tillis, Sammy Hagar and John Anderson.

When: 3 p.m. July 6. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

Where: University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman.

Tickets: On sale at 10 a.m. Friday at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.

Price: $25 all inclusive, all seats reserved, with an eight-ticket purchase limit.

Information: www.tobykeith.com.

-BAM

As of this time, there are no tickets avail. Once we finalize production, it is possible that there will be addt’l tix released!

Continue reading this story on the...

by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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