A string of four headlining performances at the Neshoba County Fair will begin with Steel Magnolia on Tuesday, July 26 and Rodney Atkins on Wednesday, July 27.
Showtimes are at 8 p.m. each day, and admission to the shows comes with admission to the fair. Tickets to the fair are $15 per day or $40 for all 8 days. On Thursday, July 28, Neal McCoy will perform, followed by John Michael Montgomery on Friday, July 29.
Scott Bounds, booking manager for entertainment at the fair, said he makes it a priority each year to have headline concerts run several nights in a row.
"They have run back to back through many years because of other events we have scheduled for other nights," Bounds said. "This is convenient for those who like to attempt to be able to attend all of the shows, without a break."
Over the years, Bounds said, the fair staff have worked to bring in a number of top entertainers, including Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Trace Adkins, Sara Evans, Darrell Worley and Lee Ann Womack.
"The concert element has always been a major attraction of the fair," Bounds said. "Country artists draw better attendance for us."
Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones are Steel Magnolia, winners of CMT's "Can You Duet?," produced by the creators of "American Idol." Their first single, "Keep On Lovin' You," earned nominations for two CMT Music Awards and two Academy of Country Music Awards in 2010.
According to Steel Magnolia's website, the two started with solo careers in Nashville before they dated, wrote music together, and auditioned for "Can You Duet."
Linsey grew up performing at fairs and festivals, writing songs, and recording, making her first trips to Nashville at 14 years old. By high school, she was already opening for Brad Paisley, Toby Keith and other major acts. She moved to Nashville immediately after graduating from high school, working in a karaoke bar.
Jones began writing his own songs at the age of 13, starting with a song he wrote and performed for his church. While working in radio sales, he wrote jingles for his clients, offering them as a free bonus with the airtime clients bought. He also performed on weekends at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.
Rodney Atkins' platinum-selling second album, "If You're Going Through Hell," produced four number one hits, earning him ACM's Top New Male Vocalist award, five more ACM nominations, and two Country Music Association nominations. Atkins performed for a half-million people at the National Memorial Day concert in Washington, D.C., and he has toured with Brad Paisley, Brooks and Dunn, Martina McBride, ZZ Top, and other renowned musicians.
According to Atkins' website, he struggled with childhood illnesses from the time he was an infant, and two of the families that adopted him from Holston Methodist Home for Children in Greenville, Tenn. returned him there before a third family adopted him for good. His health improved in his later years, and he began singing in church, playing guitar, and writing songs. When he began making trips to Nashville during college to gain experience in the country music business, it wasn't long before he was signed to Curb Records.