Who is Parker McCollum?
McCollum became a RodeoHouston fan favorite after performing for a crowd of 73,243 last year, the fourth highest-paid concert attendance in 2022, according to HLSR.
The singer/songwriter grew up in Conroe and cut his teeth at landmark country bars, including Stubbs, Billy Bobs and Nutty Browns.
On his website, McCollum is described as a "brash young man with a taste for Rodney Crowell, Todd Snider and James McMurtry who had just enough Houston gangster rap in the water to develop a swagger that’s miles from the good ole boy patina so many of his peers embody."
McCollum's first big hit was “Pretty Heart," which went platinum. The young star plays to the beat of a different drummer.
“I want to have Luke Bryan success, singing Chris Knight-caliber songs,” he declares. “To have longevity, you can’t sacrifice integrity to get on the radio. People know the difference, look at Willie, look at Strait. I knew I could do Texas and never leave, or come to Nashville and do the pop-country thing. My goal is to ride the middle.”
McCollum admits he went through a wild stage as his popularity soared.
“There was no shortage of women. There were plenty around, random girls, but people you don’t care about – and they don’t care about you. It was a lot of whiskey and smoking cigarettes to fill up the space. But I started thinking, ‘What am I gonna do when I get a little further along?’”
WATCH: Parker McCollum's playlist
More Opening Day plans
For the first time, the Rodeo will host a special Opening Day celebration that highlights H-Town with a parade and other Houston-themed activities throughout the day.
They'll give away 10,000 custom-made Howdy bobbleheads for early arrivers that morning, beginning at 10 a.m.
“Everyone looks forward to the upcoming Rodeo season all year long, and we hope all Rodeo fans will circle Opening Day on their 2023 calendars, as this will be a day you won’t want to miss,” President and CEO Chris Boleman said. Rodeo president and CEO.
2022 RodeoHouston by the numbers
This year, total attendance for Rodeo-related events topped 2,400,000.
George Strait's concert-only performance brought out almost 80,000 fans.
Music producer Marshmello had the biggest 2022 turnout for a rodeo/concert with nearly 74,000 people, barely beating Chris Stapleton's performance by around 100.
Bun B's H-Town Takeover was next with what was an iconic night for the Houston Rodeo. The Texas rapper was the first Black man from the Houston area to headline a rodeo concert.
RELATED: 2022 RodeoHouston by the numbers
Carnival and Livestock Show numbers
- Nearly 16,000 little cowboys and cowgirls rode the pony rides
- More than 760 chicks hatched in the Poultry Exhibit
- Thirty-two piglets, 17 lambs and 15 calves were born at the Birthing Center
- More than 90,000 little farmers visited Fun on the Farm
- More than 200,000 individual items of Rodeo and entertainer merchandise went home with fans, including 130,000 caps and T-shirts, 10,000 mugs and tumblers, and 12,000 lapel pins
- Approximately 2.9 million rides were taken at the carnival
- Approximately 675,000 prizes were won at the games
- The most popular food items were turkey legs, corn dogs, fried Oreos and funnel cakes
- The Cookie Stand baked more than a quarter million cookies
The most important numbers of all
One of the pillars of RodeoHouston is its scholarship program, which committed $22,125,250 to Texas students in 2022. Of that, $14,186,000 were awarded in scholarships this summer. Another $5,048,250 went to junior show exhibitors. Educational grants account for $2,418,610. Finally, the Rodeo contributed $472,390 to graduate assistantships.