Keith and Gill to play Arena

DULUTH - Fans of the red, white and blue take note - patriotic country superstar Toby Keith will bring his Hookin' Up and Hangin' Out Tour to the Arena at Gwinnett Center on Sept. 3.

The arena also announced country veteran Vince Gill has scheduled a show for Nov. 3. The two shows highlight the Duluth venue as a growing force in the country music scene.

"Country music fans need to keep an eye on us," said Arena marketing director Chris Hendley.

Keith burst on to the country music scene in 1993 with his hit single "Should've Been a Cowboy," and his self-titled debut album soon went platinum. His string of country hits continued with "A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action," "Wish I Didn't Know Now" and "How Do You Like Me Now."

Keith became a household name after he started starring in Ford commercials, and he found himself at the center of the nation's political controversy with his song "Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)." Written after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Keith's song became a touchstone for patriotic Americans. Keith publicly feuded with the Dixie Chicks after they called the song "ignorant," and refused to sing it on ABC when Peter Jennings asked the singer to tone down the lyrics.

Keith's latest album, "White Trash With Money," was released in August 2005 on his own Show Dog Nashville label. Also on the bill for the September show are Joe Nichols, whose single "Size Matters" is making a dent on the country charts, as well as Rushlow Harris and Lindsey Haun.

Gill, known for his high tenor voice, has quietly become a country music legend over the past two decades. He started making headlines in 1989 with singles including "When I Call Your Name," "Never Knew Lonely" and "I Still Believe In You."

Gill has won 18 Country Music Association awards over his decades-long career, more than anyone else in history. He's also known for his numerous duets, including songs with Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and Barbra Streisand. He is married to pop music singer Amy Grant.