Events

TAILGATE FEST

Saturday

Sep 1, 2018 – 10:00 AM

3900 West Manchester Boulevard
Inglewood, CA 90305 Map

  • Toby Keith
  • Randy Houser
  • Nelly

More Info

Toby Keith: Toby Keith was born with the name Toby Keith Covel on July 8, 1961, in Clinton, Okla. The family moved to Oklahoma City when Keith was young, and it was there he became interested in the musicians who worked in his grandmother's supper club. He got his first guitar at age 8, but it would be years before Keith would pursue music as a career. At 6-feet-4 inches, Keith worked in the oil industry and played defensive end with the Oklahoma City Drillers United States Football League (USFL) team.

In 1984, Keith turned to music full time, playing the honky-tonk circuit in Oklahoma and Texas with the band Easy Money. A demo tape made the rounds in Nashville, but there were no takers. After catching a show in Oklahoma, Mercury Records President Harold Shedd signed him to Mercury Records. His 1993 debut single, "Should've Been a Cowboy," went to No. 1 on the Billboard country singles chart, and his self-titled debut album was certified platinum.

When Shedd left Mercury for Polydor Records, Keith went with him. He released a second album, Boomtown, in 1994. The gold-selling collection produced the No. 1 hit "Who's That Man" and the Top 5 hit "You Ain't Much Fun." The platinum-selling Blue Moon followed in 1996, featuring introspective tunes like "Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine on You" and "Me Too."

When Polydor closed its Nashville operation, Toby Keith returned to Mercury Nashville, releasing Dream Walkin' in 1997. The bittersweet ballad, "When We Were in Love," went to No. 2, as did a cover version of rocker Sting's divorce ode "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying." The duet earned the unlikely pair a Grammy nomination, and Sting joined Keith for a performance on the 1997 CMA Awards telecast. Keith's Greatest Hits, Volume I followed in 1998, although its lead single, "Getcha Some," failed to crack the Top 10. (It has since sold more than 2 million copies.)

Unable to see eye to eye with Mercury, Keith moved to the fledgling DreamWorks Nashville label in 1999. There he worked with label head and producer James Stroud on the studio album How Do You Like Me Now?! The lead single, "When Love Fades," was a modest hit, but the title cut was a five-week No. 1 hit. Another single, "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This," also went to the top spot on the singles chart for three weeks.

The double-platinum success of How Do You Like Me Now?! also earned Toby Keith some long-awaited award nominations. Keith won two Academy of Country Music awards in 2000, for male vocalist and album. In 2001, he won his first CMA award, for male vocalist. His 2001 album, Pull My Chain, produced three No. 1 hits, "I'm Just Talkin' About Tonight," "I Wanna Talk About Me" and "My List." (The latter two spent five weeks each at No. 1.) He was also nominated for six Academy of Country Music awards in 2001, though he didn't win any.

On March 24, 2001, Toby Keith's father, H.K. Covel, was killed in a traffic accident in Oklahoma. Covel's truck was sideswiped by another vehicle, which caused his truck to swerve into another lane, where it collided with a charter bus. Within six months, the events of 9/11 prompted Keith to write "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," a song about his father's patriotism that pulled no punches. As the lead single from the 2002 album Unleashed, the song peaked at No. 1 over the Independence Day weekend.

Randy Houser: “I can’t hold back,” Randy Houser says of the passion and power he delivers with every song, every album, every live show of his momentous career. “I close my eyes and sing like I’m in my bedroom and no one’s watching. I sing it like God is coming out of me.” The man speaks from experience: eight years removed from his debut album, continually adding new achievements to his impressive resume, the mammoth-voiced Houser remains pounding the pavement as hard as ever, forever hitting the stage with venom, kicking up dust, scratching out those vibrant songs and colorful albums that showcase just how far this Mississippi man has come.

“I’m a songwriter. I’ve made my living that way,” Houser explains. And while the country star has started headlining arenas in select markets across the country, toured alongside some of the biggest acts in country music and unveiled chart-busting new music with seeming ease, Houser’s passion, his drive, all boils down to the singer-songwriter’s innate ability to write and perform those spine-tingling country songs that lodge themselves in your brain. Enter Fired Up: Houser’s fourth album, due on March 11 via Stoney Creek, and arguably his most fully realized effort yet. “There’s not much edification for me these days to write a song strictly for a paycheck,” Houser explains. “When you listen to the record, you’re not just getting a bunch of hit songs; you get to learn a little bit about me, too.”

If Fired Up feels like a meticulously plotted album, born of sweat and hard work, it’s because Houser takes his craft with the utmost seriousness. Never one to release new music until it’s primed and ready, when not on the road Houser spent the past few years in and out of Nashville studios, recording batches of songs at a time, crafting a 17-track LP that details his winding course through music and life. “The songs just kept stacking up,” he says of the recording process. “The only deciding factor for me of when an album is done is when you run out of time.” Ever since releasing his groundbreaking 2013 album, How Country Feels, fans have been clamoring for new music from the man Rolling Stone Country says possesses a “monstrous country voice,” but as evidenced on the album – whether in the crisp, pounding rhythm of opening track “Back” or the hard-won wisdom spun throughout the road-warrior anthem of lead single “We Went,” which is currently in the Top 5 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart – it’s clear Houser’s patience and persistence paid off.

Carving out a name for himself as an introspective, canny songwriter, Houser continually lays bare his hard-fought journey to the top in his music. “Just like I did the day before/I gave my all and a little more/ I earned my pay and walked out that door,” Houser sings with winsome charm on the bluesy retrospective rocker “Little Bit Older.” On “Senior Year,” Houser elegantly paints a vivid portrait of small-town America, love, charm and gritty character. “It’s having the only thing you care about beside you,” he wails, a tough-as-nails troubadour unburdening himself at every turn.

“The songs that I want to write these days are the ones that are more uniquely my story,” Houser explains. “What comes out comes out. It’s almost a leap of faith every night.” Houser’s desire to connect with his audience is why so many in country music have honored the man Taste of Country dubbed “one of the top vocal talents in Nashville” and who earned a 2015 CMA Song of the Year nomination for “Like A Cowboy.”

“Whenever I walk on that stage, I go into a complete other gear,” says Houser, all hard-charging bravado, fiery energy and arena-shaking voice onstage. “I lose myself in it for awhile. It’s really just the best escape that I can have.

Nelly: A savvy pop-rapper with crossover appeal, Nelly seemed like a novelty when he first debuted in summer 2000 with "Country Grammar (Hot...)," yet he was no one-hit wonder, consistently returning to the pop charts with successive smash hits like "Hot in Herre." His universality is partly rooted in his hometown: the Gateway City, officially known as St. Louis, MO, which set him apart from all of the prevailing rap styles of his time. He wasn't from the East or West Coast, nor was he from the South; located in the middle of the United States, St. Louis is a Midwestern city halfway between Minneapolis and New Orleans, built upon on the western banks of the Mississippi River. Nelly's locale certainly informs his rapping style, which is as much country as urban, and his dialect as well, which is as much Southern drawl as Midwestern twang. Plus, Nelly never shied away from a pop-rap approach, embracing a singalong vocal style that made his hooks catchier than most, thanks also in part to his standby producer, Jason "Jay E" Epperson. As a result, Nelly became a rapper capable of crossing practically all boundaries, from the Dirty South to TRL and everything in between. His first hit, "Country Grammar (Hot...)," became a nationwide summer anthem, and many more smash hits followed. His popularity peaked in summer 2002, when he topped seemingly every Billboard chart possible with his Nellyville album and its lead single, "Hot in Herre."

Born Cornell Haynes, Jr., on November 2, 1974, in St. Louis, Nelly moved with his mother from the inner city to suburban Universal City as a teen. There he chiefly attended to baseball and rap, forming the St. Lunatics with a group of his peers (including Big Lee, Kyjuan, Murphy Lee, and City Spud). The St. Lunatics enjoyed a regional hit in 1996 with the self-produced single "Gimmie What You Got," but no recording deal was forthcoming. Frustrated with failed attempts to land a recording deal as a group, the St. Lunatics collectively decided that Nelly would have a better chance as a solo act. The rest of the group could follow with solo albums of their own. The gamble paid off, and soon Nelly caught the attention of Universal, who signed him to a solo deal.

His debut album, Country Grammar (2000), featured contributions from the St. Lunatics as well as the Teamsters, Lil Wayne, and Cedric the Entertainer, and thanks to the widespread popularity of lead single "Country Grammar (Hot Shit)," Country Grammar debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 album chart, climbing to the top spot soon afterward. In addition to the Top Ten title track, Country Grammar spawned the hits singles "E.I.," "Ride wit Me," and "Batter Up." In the wake of Nelly's remarkable breakthrough success, he recorded a group album with the St. Lunatics, Free City (2001); released by Universal, the album charted Top Three and spawned a moderate hit, "Midwest Swing," which cracked the Billboard Hot 100 at number 88.

The following summer Nelly returned with his second album, Nellyville (2002), and lived up to his self-proclaimed billing as "1" (i.e., the title of his 2001 hit from the Training Day soundtrack): Nellyville topped the Billboard album chart while the Neptunes-produced lead single, "Hot in Herre," remained atop the singles chart. In all, Nelly impressively held the number one spot on ten different Billboard charts the week of Nellyville's release, and he remained a chart presence as he released a string of follow-up singles: "Dilemma" (a chart-topper), "Air Force Ones" (a Top Three hit), "Work It" (featuring Justin Timberlake), and "Pimp Juice" (the source of some controversy).

Even once Nellyville ran its course commercially, Nelly's hit streak continued unabated, with "Iz U" (from his stopgap remix album Derrty Versions [2003 (from the Bad Boys II [2003 and R. Kelly, who had both recently released very successful two-disc sets). Sweat and Suit were led by a pair of red-hot singles -- "Flap Your Wings" (a club jam) and "My Place" (a slow jam) -- and debuted at the top two spots on the Billboard 200 album chart. Follow-up singles included "Tilt Ya Head Back" (featuring Christina Aguilera), "Over and Over" (Tim McGraw), "Na-Na-Na-Na" (Jazze Pha), and "N Dey Say." Sweat and Suit were later bundled as Sweatsuit (2005), along with the new song "Grillz," itself a number one hit. Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide

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