Several all-time favorites join an astonishing 11 debut artists in this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo lineup, which was announced a few moments ago on Facebook live.
Marking their very first appearances on the rotating stage will be dance-pop hitmakers The Chainsmokers, Grammy-winning retro-pop diva Meghan Trainor, X-Factor-spawned R&B vocal group Fifth Harmony and pop-punk comeback kids blink-182.
First out of the chute will be Texas country star Aaron Watson on March 7 (First Responder's Day). Just three years ago, Watson played the rodeo’s World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest before his The Underdog became the first self-released album to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart in February 2015; his new album, Vaquero, will be out next month. Other country artists making their rodeo debuts are neo-outlaw sensation Chris Stapleton (“Fire Away”); R&B-leaning crooner Sam Hunt (“Leave the Night On”); the more traditional-leaning Thomas Rhett (“Die a Happy Man”); and contemporary country-rockers Old Dominion (“Snapback”).
This year’s Black Heritage Day entertainer will be Alicia Keys, returning to the rodeo for the first time since 2005, supporting her recent album HERE. For Go Tejano Day, traditionally the rodeo’s largest single-day paid attendance, Mexico’s Banda El Recodo and South Texas norteño group Siggno are first-timers.
Among the veterans, Alan Jackson will be making his 23rd rodeo performance; Brad Paisley his 11th; Willie Nelson his ninth (two with the Highwaymen); Dierks Bentley his seventh; Bryan, Zac Brown and ZZ Top their sixth; and both Chris Young and Florida Georgia Line their fourth.
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Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 14 at rodeohouston.com, through the same AXS-powered system as 2015 and last year. The “virtual waiting room” will open at 9:30; fans can register in advance at this link.
The 2017 schedule is below. RodeoHouston debut acts are in bold.
Tuesday, March 7: Aaron Watson
Wednesday, March 8: Old Dominion*
Thursday, March 9: Chris Stapleton
Friday, March 10: Alicia Keys**
Saturday, March 11: Alan Jackson
Sunday, March 12: The Chainsmokers
Monday, March 13: Sam Hunt
Tuesday, March 14: Meghan Trainor
Wednesday, March 15: Thomas Rhett*
Thursday, March 16: Luke Bryan
Friday, March 17: Fifth Harmony
Saturday, March 18: Willie Nelson
Sunday, March 19: Banda El Recodo/Siggno***
Monday, March 20: Florida Georgia Line
Tuesday, March 21: ZZ Top
Wednesday, March 22: Chris Young*
Thursday, March 23: blink-182
Friday, March 24: Dierks Bentley
Saturday, March 25: Brad Paisley
Sunday, March 26: Zac Brown Band
* Value Wednesdays ($10 upper-deck tickets)
** Black Heritage Day (presented by Kroger)
*** Go Tejano Day