'Idol' winner to perform at Music at McClellan
by Ben Flanagan
Special to the Star
Jun 04, 2009 | 3224 views |  1 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ruben Studdard, season two winner of 'American Idol' will perform the second concert of the Music at McClellan series on Saturday. Photo: Special to The Star
Ruben Studdard, season two winner of 'American Idol' will perform the second concert of the Music at McClellan series on Saturday. Photo: Special to The Star
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American Idol winner Ruben Studdard will return to his home state to perform in Anniston on Saturday for the second concert of the Music at McClellan series. The Birmingham native and season two winner of the hit Fox television show hits the stage in Longleaf Park at 8 p.m.

Josephine Ayers, co-chair on the Music at McClellan committee, said Studdard was an appealing artist to this event because of his Alabama roots and broad appeal.

"We thought because he was from Birmingham, he could just drive over with his mom," Ayers said. "He's a hometown boy, and Alabama was just so proud when he won Idol. We wanted to find an artist that could hit an audience we had never approached before."

Pete Conroy, another chair on the Music at McClellan committee, said he thinks Studdard will bring in another diverse audience for the series that has embraced all kinds of genres, including last week's rock act, The Machine, a Pink Floyd cover band.

"Last week was over the top with a record crowd and a lot of happy people," he said. "The quality of the music was excellent. Every time we attract a new person for the series, it makes a lot of us glad.

"We certainly received a lot of enthusiasm for a season in 2010."

Ayers said she received a few complaints about smoking on site, even though it is not allowed on the premises. She said they would enforce those rules a bit better this weekend. She also said she was pleased with the presence of so many families and their children who enjoyed picnicking at last week's show. She anticipates a similar atmosphere this weekend.

"Music at McClellan is really family-friendly," she said. "That's what we're here for."

After Studdard, the series closes on June 13 with the annual "Cannons and Classics Under the Stars" featuring the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Studdard's new album "Love IS" is now available in stores and online at iTunes. It marks Studdard's fourth full-length album. The Grammy-nominated artist won the NAACP Image Award for best new artist in 2004 and was also nominated for favorite male soul/R&B artist at the American Music Awards.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.musicatmcclellan.org or at the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, JSU Bookstore, Tyson Art & Frame, The Anniston Star and the Center for Cultural Arts of Gadsden.

The concert grounds open at 6 p.m., and the music begins at 8 p.m.

Ruben Studdard

What: Season two winner of 'American Idol'

When: Saturday, 8 p.m.

Where: Longleaf Park, McClellan

How much: $25 for advance, $30 at gate

Contact: 310-0852 or musicatmcclellan.org
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'Idol' winner to perform at Music at McClellan by Ben Flanagan
Special to the Star

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