Luke Combs to Kick Off 2021 Daytona 500 With Pre-Race Performance
Luke Combs is getting in gear to jumpstart the 2021 Daytona 500. The country singer will deliver a televised performance on Fox, set to air just before the NASCAR season-opening race begins at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Valentine's Day (Feb. 14).
It will be Combs' first live show since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most live performances last March, in addition to being the first big performance at a track during the pandemic. The "Beautiful Crazy" performer and 2020 ACM Awards winner performed virtually during the NASCAR season finale in November, but the 2021 Daytona 500 concert will be NASCAR's first live music event since the health crisis began in earnest. (The last NASCAR-sponsored music gig saw Blake Shelton and Pitbull perform during the 2020 FanShield 500 on Mar. 8, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz.)
"Hey race fans, I'm Luke Combs," the singer says in a video from Tuesday (Jan. 19). "If you love live music, be sure to catch my performance at the 2021 Daytona 500, Sunday, Feb. 14. I'll see you there."
Combs kept busy during the past year's worth of downtime by live-streaming at-home performances of multiple new songs he'd penned during quarantine. But, as much as anyone, the musician is eager for a return to traditional live concerts as he and his fans know them.
"I can't wait to feel that energy again," Combs tells the Associated Press. "Man, I miss it. It [will be] the first live show I've played since March of 2020, and I'd say it's pretty dang huge."
For the country music star, performing live represents "the thing that allows the fan to be connected to the artist in a very intimate way," he adds, noting that it's "something that you can't really explain."
"Live music is a way for us to be able to disconnect from everything else and just be there in the moment. The pandemic has definitely hurt our industry as a whole, but I personally just really miss being on stage every night with the guys and the fans," Combs explains. "It's why I do what I do. When I said, 'I miss the road, I miss my band,' in my song "Six Feet Apart," I really meant it. It's hard being away from [the fans], and I can't wait to get back out there."
Catch Combs' performance ahead of the Daytona 500 at 1PM ET.
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