Hudson, King perform at Smith Center opening

July 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM
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LAS VEGAS, July 18 (UPI) -- Jennifer Hudson, Willie Nelson and Carole King were among those who sang at the opening of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas.

Neil Patrick Harris served as host of "From Dust to Dreams: Opening Night at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts," a musical special taped in March that will air Sept. 21 on PBS.

The program includes appearances by Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Martina McBride, Arturo Sandoval, Joshua Bell, John Fogerty, Mavis Staples, Pat Monahan, Marcello Gomes and Luciana Paris. Brian Stokes Mitchell, Laura Osnes, Cheyenne Jackson, Sherie Rene Scott, Montego Glover and Benjamin Walker participated in the event, as well.

"We set out to celebrate the best of the American creative spirit whether it was classical, Broadway, rock, dance or soul on the occasion of the opening of a world-class performing arts center," said the show's director and producer Michael Stevens. "It's not every day that you get the chance to see such a range of artists all at the peak of their respective talents."

"I am so honored to have been a part of the Smith Center's opening night," McBride said in a statement. "I am excited for viewers at home to see how magical the night was performing with some of the most iconic names in music."

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