Gary Allan gave one of his biggest fans a memory to last a lifetime backstage at a concert in Kansas on Friday night (Aug. 26).
Renee is from Pinson, Tenn., just outside of Jackson. She first met Allan 19 years ago, when the then-aspiring star was opening for David Lee Murphy and Mark Chesnutt on his first-ever tour. She and her sister, Tammy, were huge Murphy fans who followed him to shows.
“She used to make this David Lee Murphy Chex mix, with peanuts and crackers and stuff like that, and she started bringing it to us, and baked us cakes every time she saw us,” Allan recalls to Taste of Country.
After meeting Renee and her sister several times, Allan told them he would steal them and turn them into Gary Allan fans. That prediction came true … and then some. Renee has seen Allan in concert 300 times since then, traveling as far away as Washington State to attend shows. Once she even got into an accident on the way to a show, but still managed to make the gig. She has met Allan and his band many times, and when Allan got wind that Friday’s gig at the Cotillion Ballroom in Wichita was her 300th show, he decided to do something special in return.
I can probably only name the things on one hand that I’ve done 300 times.”
In the video above, he and his team surprise Renee with a cake from Cheri’s Bakery backstage at a special meet and greet, and Allan — who is a talented jeweler as well as a singer-songwriter — presents her with a ring that he made by hand for her.
“It was cool! She was super surprised,” he says. “She didn’t expect anything. It was really sweet.”
“We weren’t sure if we should celebrate her, or have her arrested,” he jokes, adding, “She’s actually a great fan. She’s always very polite. We always enjoy seeing her.”
Allan finds it astonishing to be the object of that kind of devotion.
“I can probably only name the things on one hand that I’ve done 300 times,” he says with a laugh. “I love that she’s such a great concert-goer … It’s totally flattering.”
He calls the occasion “a magic moment for all of us. It’s great getting to know our fans like that, and it’s great being aware that they’ve been around so much. I just think it’s wild that someone could come to see me 300 times.”