BLOOMINGTON — A country music icon will headline the 27th annual American Red Cross Evening of Stars gala this spring in Normal.
Trace Adkins — a country music singer, songwriter and actor — was announced Wednesday by the American Red Cross Serving Central Illinois as the annual event's featured speaker at 7 p.m. April 29 at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 201 Broadway Ave., Normal.
Adkins' appearance will include a talk and live performance.
"We are excited to have a country music legend join us this year," Evening of Stars Chair Wendy Wilber said in a statement. Wilber is owner of Travel by Wendy and a board member of the Red Cross Serving Central Illinois.
"Trace Adkins has an interesting and colorful story and guests will enjoy his music and his big personality," Wilber said.
"Trace Adkins has been a big supporter of the American Red Cross and we are thrilled to have him as our guest for Evening of Stars," said Lyn Hruska, CEO for the American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region.
"It's exciting to add him to the spectacular list of stars who have been a part of Evening of Stars over the past 26 years," Hruska said. "The funds raised from Evening of Stars are critical to our mission delivery and we look forward to a fun night with Trace Adkins."
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Tickets are $200 or guests may choose the "Red Carpet Experience" for $750, which includes two tickets to the VIP reception with a chance to meet Adkins, two Evening of Stars tickets with preferred seating for the dinner and performance and your name in the program. Tickets are available at redcross.org/EOStickets or by calling (309) 253-8572.
Evening of Stars, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Red Cross in the Bloomington-Normal area, helps Red Cross disaster response, preparedness training, support for military families and collection of blood and blood products.
Adkins' musical career has included the hits "(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing," "Ladies Love Country Boys" and "You're Gonna Miss This."
Adkins. 58, is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and has sold more than 11 million albums. He has received three Grammy nominations and several Country Music Television and Academy of Country Music awards.
His film and television credits include appearances in "The Lincoln Lawyer," "Mom's Night Out" and "I Can Only Imagine" and he voices Elvin, a recurring character on "King of the Hill."
He won NBC's "The All-Star Apprentice" in 2013, raising $1.5 million for the Red Cross.
Last year's Evening of Stars' speaker was Chicago Bears' head coach Matt Nagy. About 1,000 people attended that event, raising $342,000 for Red Cross programs and services in Central Illinois.
Red-hot speakers: A look at some Red Cross Evening of Stars' headliners
Contact Paul Swiech at 309-820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech.