BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center has opened to the public with a performance by country singer Vince Gill.

On opening night Saturday, Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon told the Daily News that he was "awe-struck" when he walked into the theater. He described the new center in Bowling Green as "elegant, bright and welcoming."

County singer LeAnn Rimes had been scheduled to perform for the public debut of the 1,800-seat center, but she became ill and had to cancel. Gill agreed to step in.

Many in the crowd said they didn't mind the change in performers and were pleased by their first look inside the center.

Franklin resident Jonell Price summed it up in two words: "It's beautiful ."

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