CHEYENNE, Wyo. (CBS4) — Garth Brooks will take the stage Friday at the 125th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days and his performance will be dedicated to the late-great Chris LeDoux. In an interview with CBS4’s Dillon Thomas, Brooks said Chris LeDoux was the epitome of what the CFD rodeo and night shows stand for.

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“When he got on stage it was like someone opened the chute on him,” Brooks said.

Brooks sold out the crowd at CFD this year, and his opening act was specifically chosen to honor LeDoux.

LeDoux and Brooks shared the stage during the 100th CFD rodeo.

“The blessing is the memory, the curse is the truth. I was working my ass off that night. I thought I had the crowd where I wanted them, and then he came out and the crowd got 10 times louder,” Brooks said.

LeDoux was an award-winning musician and bareback rider. He passed away years ago. However, his son, Ned, has followed in his footsteps as a musician.

(credit: CBS)

Ned LeDoux was scheduled as the opening act for Brooks.

“It’s hard to believe 25 years ago, and I was there to watch the whole thing,” LeDoux said.

Walking through the tunnels of the CFD rodeo stadium, LeDoux told Thomas he still remembered the night his dad performed with Brooks.

“When I was a little kid I was running around playing in mud puddles,” LeDoux said.

Ned played his own songs at the performance, while also playing a couple of his dad’s classics. LeDoux said he would be playing in his father’s honor.

“I can feel the butterflies starting to buzz around a little bit,” LeDoux said.

Garth Brooks said he couldn’t help but to see Chris in Ned, though they are their own unique talented individuals.

“When he talks you immediately flashback to Chris. When he smiles you automatically flashback to Chris,” Brooks said.

(credit: CBS)

Brooks thanked Thomas and CBS4, as well as the CFD staff, for making the event focused on Chris LeDoux.

“I can’t tell you how much I applaud you for making him the centerpiece of Cheyenne Frontier Days,” Brooks said. “He is the face of Cheyenne Frontier Days. He is also the face of what a good human being is, and what a great cowboy is.”

LeDoux said he was honored to perform with Brooks, and said his father was watching.

“I think he has probably got a pretty big grin on his face,” LeDoux said.

LINK: Cheyenne Frontier Days

Dillon Thomas