Garth Brooks Honors the ‘Face of Cheyenne Frontier Days’ Chris LeDoux With Epic On-Stage Memory

by Emily Morgan

During his performance at the 125th annual Cheyenne Frontier Days, Garth Brooks dedicated his show to someone near and dear to his heart.

When he took the stage on Friday, he dedicated his show to the country music singer-songwriter and hall of fame rodeo champion Chris LeDoux. During an interview, the country superstar said LeDoux was the epitome of what the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo represents.

“When he got on stage, it was like someone opened the chute on him,” Garth Brooks recalled of LeDoux, who died on March 9, 2005, at 56. Before his death, Doux was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, for which he underwent radiation treatment until his death.

Brooks sold out his show at Cheyenne Frontier Days this year, and Brooks specifically chose his opening act to honor his late friend and colleague. Brooks recalled sharing the stage with LeDoux during his performance 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 ten times louder,” Garth Brooks said.

During his lifetime, LeDoux was an award-winning country music musician and barebacked rider. Although he passed away, his son, Ned, has followed in his cowboy boots.

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For this year’s Frontier Days, it was a full-circle moment for Ned LeDoux as he was an opening act for Garth Brooks. “It’s hard to believe 25 years ago, and I was there to watch the whole thing,” LeDoux said.

As he walked through the rodeo stadium tunnels, LeDoux was full of emotion. He had a flashback to the night his dad performed alongside Brooks. “When I was a little kid, I was running around playing in mud puddles,” LeDoux reminisced.

During this year’s performance, Ned played his own songs while also playing a couple of his dad’s tunes. Ned also said he would be playing in his father’s honor.”I can feel the butterflies starting to buzz around a little bit,” LeDoux said.

According to Garth Brooks, he couldn’t help but see Chris in Ned, even though they are their own person, musically

“When he talks, you immediately flashback to Chris. When he smiles, you automatically flashback to Chris,” Brooks said. “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.” Ned said he was honored to perform with Brooks and said he knew his father was watching. “I think he has probably got a pretty big grin on his face,” LeDoux said.