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Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood to play Gwinnett Arena

DULUTH - In her three years as a spokeswoman for the Arena at Gwinnett Center, Julia Karrenbauer has been waiting for one name to pop up on the performance list: Keith Urban. Her dream has come true.

"This is the show I have been waiting for. I've been waiting to meet Keith," Karrenbauer said. "Of course, I won't tell him that."

Urban won't be alone when he graces the Duluth stage. The venue announced Wednesday that country music headliners Urban and Carrie Underwood will share the stage two consecutive nights as part of the "Love, Pain and The Whole Crazy Carnival Ride" tour, slated to arrive in town April 24 and 25. Tickets for the show go on sale Dec. 21.

The tour name is a blend of the two artists' current albums, Urban's "Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing," and Underwood's "Carnival Ride."

"Tickets for the show will make a great Christmas present," Karrenbauer said. "We're so excited to bring these two artists together. The buzz has already started."

For the dual-power show, Karrenbauer is expecting a double-night sell-out. Weeks prior to the announcement, fans were already calling the arena, digging for dates and information regarding the April show.

"I couldn't comment, but now I finally can," Karrenbauer said. "The fan bases for this show are sort of the same, but also different. We're excited to introduce fans of each artist to the other."

The show marks the first time in Gwinnett Arena history the venue has booked back-to-back musical concerts of the same show. And since Karrenbauer is already predicting a sell-out crowd, it may also mark the first time the arena has sold out back-to-back concerts.

Grammy-winner and Australian-born Urban, who is married to actress Nicole Kidman, exploded onto the American country music scene in 2002 with his album "Golden Road," and recently made headlines after checking himself into rehab. Following his recovery, he released the CD "Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing" to critical acclaim.

Underwood, also a Grammy winner, took the music world by storm after winning the fourth season of reality TV show "American Idol" in 2005. Since then, she has continued her singing success with top-selling albums "Some Hearts" in 2005 and this year's "Carnival Ride."

"These are two of the biggest names in country," Karrenbauer said. "I, for one, cannot wait for this show."

No opening acts have been scheduled thus far for the Urban-Underwood show. Tickets for the concert go on sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 21 at Ticketmaster outlets. Visit Ticketmaster.com or www.gwinnettcenter.com.