Country Music Association Award Winner Billy Dean to Play Jewel Box Concert at the Thomas Center


The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, in cooperation with Shake Rag Cultural Center, Inc., is pleased to welcome Billy Dean to the next Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center on Friday, Sept. 8. Dean is a Florida Artists Hall of Fame member, Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association award-winner and Grammy nominee, and this concert is certain to be an up close and personal performance. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the concert begins at 7 p.m. General admission is $20 and VIP seating is $30 at the door. Seating is limited, and tickets may be purchased in advance online at

Billy Dean first gained national attention after appearing on the television talent competition “Star Search.” He had a string of hits in the early- and mid-1990s, the biggest of which included "Only Here for a Little While," "Somewhere in My Broken Heart" and "You Don't Count the Cost" (all 1991); "Only the Wind," "Billy the Kid" and "If There Hadn't Been You" (1992); "Trying to Hide a Fire in the Dark" (1993); "We Just Disagree" (1994); and "It's What I Do" and "That Girl's Been Spying on Me" (1996).

"We are so grateful for the support we have received from the Gainesville community. It is the reason we are able to include a celebrity like Billy Dean to our world-class concerts," says Ernie Evans, vice president of Shake Rag Cultural Center, Inc. Evans goes on to say, "Billy is also fulfilling a last request of one of his biggest fans Katie Slay. Katie has spina bifida, and is currently spending her final days in the care of hospice. We are so honored to do our part in making this happen and look forward to seeing Katie at the concert." 

Press photographs of Billy Dean are available online at

Dinner will be available for purchase on site by Mojo Hogtown Bar-B-Que, featuring southern-style cuisine, as well as a vegetarian option, desserts, coffee, bottled water and beverages. Customers may bring their favorite wine or champagne, and an attendant will tend their bottle. Plastic cups will be provided, but guests are welcome to bring their own glass.

The Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center will continue its concert series for the remainder of 2017 with The Atlantic City Boys in November and The Currys’ Holiday Show in December and beyond. Information may be viewed at

The Thomas Center is located at 302 NE Sixth Ave. in Gainesville. The ticket office for the Jewel Box Concerts is 904-886-8378.