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Starship Starring Mickey Thomas playing Merced fair

Starship Starring Mickey Thomas will land at the 2011 Merced County Fair to perform multiplatinum hits of the Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship and Starship.

The band will put on a concert Saturday, June 18, Merced Sun-Star Day, in the fairgrounds' Outdoor Theatre.Each night of the fair, Wednesday, June 15 through Sunday, June 19, a headline entertainment act will play at 8:30 p.m. in the Outdoor Theatre, where all shows are free with admission.

Starship will celebrate its 25th Anniversary Tour with a revamped band that includes Mickey Thomas performing vocals, Mark Abrahamian on guitar, Jeff Adams on bass and background vocals, Stephanie Calvert, vocals, Darrell Verdusco on drums and Phil Bennett, keyboards and background vocals. The band recently released a live CD and a new album is due out this year. Mickey Thomas propelled Starship through the '80s and '90s with his soulful vocals. He's marking his 30th year with Starship since he joined Jefferson Starship as lead vocalist after the departure of Grace Slick and Marty Balin. Every Starship album has gone gold, platinum or multi-platinum. The band changed its name to Starship in 1990.

Mickey Thomas made his mark in 1976 as the lead vocalist on the mega-hit "Fooled Around and Fell In Love," with The Elvin Bishop Band. Thomas joined Jefferson Starship in the late '70s and backed by the power of his vocals, Jefferson Starship immediately scored a No. 1 hit with "Jane."

The group had a new sound and new vocals and recorded a string of hits including "No Way Out," "We Built This City" and "Sara." Starship received an Oscar award nomination for the No. 1 hit, "Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now," from the 1987 film, "Mannequin." Other top hits include "Find Your Way Back," "Stranger," "Laying It On The Line" and "It's Not Over Till It's Over," which became Major League Baseball's theme in 1987. Thomas' stellar voice and video charisma on Starship's video classics including "We Built This City" and "Sara" have become staples on MTV and VH1.

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