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Volume 68, Issue 102, Monday, February 24, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

Welcome to the show

by Lindsey Bowers
The Daily Cougar

This man has 25 platinum records and 50 number one singles under his belt. His last performance at the rodeo broke the paid attendance record for any event ever held in the Reliant Astrodome. Heis George Strait … and heis a Rodeo Houston legend.

Naturally, heill be the opening act for this yearis event beginning Tuesday. Strait, a regular at the rodeo since 1983, returns to the line-up as a veteran. He is one of only three artists to have performed for over one million Rodeo fans. 

For the first time in its history, Rodeo Houston makes its home not in the Astrodome but the new and gleaming Reliant Stadium. Straitis latest album, For the Last Time: Live from the Astrodome, was recorded at last yearis rodeo and was a way for him to commemorate the end of a legacy for this long-standing Houston tradition. 

Other top-notch country music stars are included on the hot list: Martina McBride, Kenny Chesney, Robert Earl Keen, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Clay Walker, Brooks & Dunn, Pat Green, Alabama…the list goes on. If youire a fan of country music, this line-up is nothing short of incredible. Rodeo Houston looks to be hosting virtually every top male country artist on the charts. 

Although Keith Urban was scheduled to have a performance this Saturday, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Web site reports that he has since been placed on full vocal rest and will be unable to keep his Houston date. Lee Ann Womack and the four members of Cross Canadian Ragweed will take the stage in his absence. 

If country music just isnit your thing, Rodeo Houston has special nights for other musical tastes. They will host a Go Tejano Day featuring Intocable, Los Tres Amigos, and others. 

LL Cool J will appear at the rodeo for the very first time with female vocalist Ashanti on Fri. March 7 for Black Heritage Day. Having sold more than 20 million albums, LL Cool J has been named the most successful hip-hop artist in history. By taking Ashantiis hit singles: "Leaving (Always on Time)," "Foolish," and "Happy," and combining them with LLis rap experience is sure to add some welcome change by spicing up the Rodeo Houston music mix.

Tickets to the shows are available at Reliant Stadium, Ticketmaster outlets, and on the Ticketmaster web site. Most ticket prices are between $14 and $75, depending on seating. Separate tickets are listed online for parking. Also keep in mind that the times listed on tickets and on the HLS&R web site are for when the rodeo begins. The concerts will start after the conclusion of the last rodeo event of the evening.

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