Alabama takes the stage at the Hard Rock Event Center on April 27.

TAMPA — Country music legends Alabama will perform Thursday, April 27, 8 p.m., in the Hard Rock Event Center at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 5223 Orient Road, Tampa. 

Tickets start at $200. Visit Ticketmaster.com or seminolehardrocktampa.com.

It's been 50 years since Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry, and Randy Owen left the cotton farms of Fort Payne, Alabama, to spend the summer playing in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, bar called The Bowery. Having grown up working in the fields, the cousins were no strangers to hard work. They didn’t flinch when it took six long years of working for tips and living hand-to-mouth playing in the bar.

"I don't think we thought too far ahead,” Cook recalled. “We were more concerned with paying our bills at the end of the week and playing music.” 

Word of mouth eventually earned the band a major label deal. In 1980, the band broke through with their first Top 20 hit, “My Home’s in Alabama.”

Alabama helped bring country music to the mainstream and from side stage to the main stage. Alabama introduced rock style guitars, lights, pyrotechnics and sounds to the country audience.

"We were renegades in sneakers and T-shirts," said Teddy. "We had long hair and played loud and some of the country folks resisted us for a while. But then of course they did accept us and then after that, our success made it lots easier for other bands to try it in country music."

The band has sold more than 80 million albums, has charted 43 No. 1 singles including 21 No. 1 singles in a row, has won over 200 industry awards and has earned 21 gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums. It’s in the Country Music Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

The members of Alabama have raised more than $800 million for charity.