Brooks Dunn Opening Festivities

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Country music duo Brooks & Dunn have been added to the entertainment lineup for Friday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas. They'll open the show by performing their chart-topping country hit "Only in America."

The song, part of an opening segment honoring NASCAR’s loyal fan base, will be packaged with a video titled “The Spirit of the Fans,” featuring a powerful narration by long-time television broadcast personality Ken Squier.

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn have announced that 2010 will be their last year together, highlighted by a farewell tour, “The Last Rodeo.” Earlier this year they released their final album, a 30-song double-disc collection title “#1s … and then some.” They have sold more than 30 million albums over a career dating to 1991, with 23 songs that reached No. 1 on the country music charts.

They have a long-standing connection to NASCAR – and the sport’s fans.

In 1997, the late Dale Earnhardt, a seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion who was the musicians’ good friend, appeared as a special guest in their video for the hit song, “Honky Tonk Truth.” The video was comically based on Earnhardt’s mustache-driven resemblance to Brooks, with Earnhardt “subbing” in for some air-guitar moves.

In 2003, Sterling Marlin’s car sported a Brooks & Dunn paint scheme for the Coca-Cola 600. Two months later, the duo performed at Daytona International Speedway as part of “The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert” to benefit the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. They returned to Daytona in 2008, heading the pre-race show for the 50th running of the Daytona 500.

Brooks & Dunn join an entertainment lineup that is unprecedented in the awards ceremony’s history.

Comedian/impressionist Frank Caliendo, will serve as the host while two other premier musical acts will add to the ceremony’s debut in Las Vegas: singer/songwriter David Gray, a Grammy-nominated artist with album sales exceeding 12 million; and Escala, a female electric string quartet who emerged during last year’s “Britain’s Got Talent” television show. Comedian John Pinette returns for his second-straight appearance at the awards ceremony.

Serving as the event’s emcees will be Mike Joy and Krista Voda from NASCAR on FOX and SPEED. The awards ceremony will be broadcast live at 9 p.m. ET on SPEED.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2009

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