United Way of Fort Smith Area will host a 90th anniversary celebration featuring multi-platinum selling country recording artist Mark Wills on Sept. 6 at the Fort Smith Convention Center.
The celebration will include a reception at 5:30 p.m. honoring board members, board chairs and campaign chairs.
Dinner catered by 21 West End will begin at 6:30, including a brief programs at award. At 7 p.m., Wills will provide entertainment.
Wills’s hits include two number ones and eight top 10 singles. “Wish You Were Here,” “19 Something” and “Don’t Laugh at Me” received nominations for single, song and video of the year by the Country Music Association.
He won the Academy of Country Music’s award for top new male vocalist in 1998. In 2001, his single “19 Something” spend six consecutive weeks at No. 1, was Billboard’s top country hit of the year and was the second most-played song of the decade in 2009.
Wills was born in Cleveland, Tenn. on Aug. 8, 1973. His family later moved to Blue Ridge, Ga. In his teenage years, Wills played in garage bands, taking inspiration from rock groups such as Bon Jovi. During his young adulthood, however, he began to take an interest in country music.
He entered a local talent contest in Marietta, Ga., at age 17, and after winning the contest, he began to perform locally.
From there, he went to work as a demo singer in Atlanta before doing the same in Nashville, Tenn. While in Nashville, he was discovered by record producers Carson Chamberlain and Keith Stegall, who helped him sign to a recording contract with Mercury Records Nashville.
In late 2009, he released then a fifth single, “Crazy White Boy,” written by Brett James and Blair Daly. Wills released the compilation album 2nd Time Around in July 2009, which comprises re-recordings of several Mercury singles.
Wills released a new single in January 2011 called “Looking for America”, written by Bernie Nelson, Philip Douglas and Jeremy Bussey. It served as the title track to his 2011 album of the same name, released June 21, 2011, from Big Red Records and Tenacity Records.
Call (479) 782-1311 for table sponsorships and individual tickets, which are $60.
United Way of Fort Smith Area serves Crawford, Logan, Franklin, Sebastian and Scott counties in Arkansas and Leflore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma.