WATZ Radio (99.3 & 96.7 FM) has announced that country star Josh Gracin will headline its 2012 Listener Appreciation Night concert at the Alpena County Fair.
The Michigan native will perform at the Alpena County Fairgrounds on Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. His opening acts will be local band Phoenix and regional group Gunnar and the Grizzly Boys - the same two bands that opened last year's listener appreciation concert featuring Bucky Covington.
WATZ Station Manager Mike Centala said Gracin will highlight a full evening of entertainment for the station's listeners.
"We're thrilled to have a veteran performer and nationally known singer like Josh Gracin coming to Alpena," he said. "Josh will represent the culmination of a full night of fun with two other entertaining groups."
Gracin rose to fame as a contestant on Fox TV's mega-hit show American Idol during its second season in 2004. He auditioned for the program while he was still serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
After finishing fourth on Idol and completing his military service, Gracin signed a recording contract with Lyric Street Records. He released a self-titled debut album in June 2004. The album eventually went gold, selling over 500,000 copies.
The album spurred three top 10 hits "I Want to Live," "Stay With Me" and the number one single "Nothing To Lose."
Gracin's second album, "We Weren't Crazy," was released four years ago. It included the popular song "Favorite State of Mind," and a love ballad he wrote solely for his wife called "Unbelievable (Ann Marie)."
Gracin has also appeared on The Disney Songbook, singing "When I See Elephants Fly," and on the soundtrack to the film Herbie: Fully Loaded, on the song "Working for the Weekend."
He recently signed a new record deal with independent label Average Joe's Entertainment. Gracin said an independent label feels like the right fit for him now, giving him room to grow while still providing an outlet for his music.
His first album for Average Joe is called "Redemption." It was released late last year.
Tickets for the show will be available at the gate for $5. They also will be available for free through multiple on-air giveaways.