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Josh Gracin staging Manteca concert
Free event part of Memorial Day Weekend activities
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Gracin. - photo by Photo Contributed
Josh Gracin - a former Marine and American Idol finalist - is paying tribute to those who served America in a free Memorial Day Weekend concert in Manteca.

It is part of the annual Not Forgotten Memorial Commemoration on Sunday, May 29, at Woodward Park. Last year’s event drew nearly 15,000 people from throughout Northern California.

The day-long event will feature a number of activities including special memorial ceremonies that will include various veterans as well as Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sammy Davis who attended Manteca High and was raised in French Camp. Davis was recognized for going beyond the call of duty in the Vietnam War.

Gracin, 30, first gained attention as the fourth-place finisher during the second season of American Idol. After being eliminated from the show, he finished his Marine Crops service. He signed a deal with Lyric Street Records after receiving an honorable discharge.

His debut album in 2004 produced the No. 1 hit “Nothin’ to Lose” as well as two more Top Five songs on the Billboard country chart. His second album - “We Weren’t Crazy” - was released in 2008. It generated five more chart singles.

As a 16-year-old, Gracin performed on stage at the Grand Ole Opry in a national talent show. He attended Western Michigan University before joining the Marines. After boot camp, he became a supply clerk at Camp Pendleton. He attained the rank of lance corporal while serving in the Marines from 2000 to 2004.