Grammy Award-winning country artist Alan Jackson and former “American Idol” contestant Kellie Pickler have been added to the Riverbend 2011 lineup, according to talent and production coordinator Joe “Dixie” Fuller.
The two represent the final headlining acts to be signed for the 30th anniversary of the festival. Jackson will perform on the main Coca-Cola Stage June 17, and Pickler will headline closing night on June 18.
“It is our 30th anniversary, and we have added one of the greats in country music,” Riverbend director Chip Baker said.
“We are very excited about the lineup. We’ve really stepped up the talent level,” he said.
Jackson has 34 No. 1 hit singles. The first was “Here in the Real World,” released in 1990 and the last was “As She’s Walking Away,” recorded with the Zac Brown Band and released in 2010. Jackson has sold more than 50 million albums in his more than two decade career.
Pickler first came to the public’s attention on the 2005 season of “American Idol,” finishing sixth. She parlayed that attention into a recording contract and released “Small Town Girl” in 2006. The album produced three singles that reached the Billboard Hot Country Songs Top 20 charts. They were “Red High Heels,” “I Wonder” and “Things That Never Cross a Man’s Mind.”
Her self-titled sophomore effort featured the singles “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful,” “Best Days of Your Life,” “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” and “Makin’ Me Fall in Love Again.”
The festival is set for June 10-18. Headliners, in order of appearance, for this year’s festival are Huey Lewis & The News, The Beach Boys, The Machine performing Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” along with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, John Lee Hooker Jr. at the Bessie Smith Strut, Casting Crowns, Miranda Lambert, Brian McKnight, Jackson and Pickler.
Riverbend pins go on sale to the public at area Kangaroo stores May 1 for $30.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...