It was a busy weekend at the McKinney Performing Arts Center, starting with country music superstar Collin Raye, who graced the stage before a packed house on Friday night. Five times nominated as country music’s Male Vocalist of the Year, Raye displayed emotion and versatility as he entertained fans, effortlessly performing the hits that showcase his velvety tenor.
Even though Raye is in his early 50s, his energy was electric as he sang old favorites such as "That's My Story" - "That's my story, that's my story. Well I ain't got a witness, I can't prove it, but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it."
"April Fool" and "That Was a River" highlight Raye's soulful, signature voice. "Even though it wasn't a huge hit, I have to perform 'April Fool' during the month of April," Raye shared with the audience.
Raye's music ran the gamut from light-hearted to inspirational ballads as he a treated the audience to a full 90 minutes of music without a break.
Following the 2010 death of his granddaughter, Haley, who died of a rare neurological condition, Raye has turned his focus to Christian music. He introduced a brand new single, "Undefeated", which debuted on the Christian charts just two weeks ago.
Raye finished up the evening with fans crowding around the stage while he Badfinger's "No Matter What." Then he rocked the house with his rendition of the Doobie Brother's "China Grove".
Saying he loved what McKinney had done in turning the former courthouse into an entertainment venue, Raye is a genuine, down-to-earth, self-deprecating guy, who has had his share of life's struggles. Many of those struggles come through in his music.
Raye shook hands and chatted with folks at Square Burger, where he stopped for a bite following the concert. He said he looks forward to coming back to McKinney, if possible, for a Christmas concert. Judging by the turnout at his show, I'd venture a guess that McKinney would be delighted to have him back.
See excepts from the concert in the video below.
Top Photo: Collin Raye (left) jammed with a member of his band on Friday night at MPAC.