KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An American Idol finalist is coming to the Smokies to perform.

Leah Marlene will headline the season-opening concert for the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend on Friday, April 28, 2023. The singer-songwriter made it to the final round of American Idol‘s final night last season. She was also an early fan favorite throughout the season.

“With a unique, engaging voice and a songwriting style that combines elements of folk, rock, pop, soul, funk, jazz and more, she cannot be put into a box! Leah took the music world by storm on last season’s American Idol. Her performance of original songs like ‘Wisher to the Well’ and ‘Flowers’ led Katy Perry to describe her as ‘the whole package’,” A release from the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center reads.

Marlene is currently preparing for a 21-city tour, including the stop in Townsend and a show in Nashville. General admission tickets are $30 for Heritage Center members and $35 for non-members. They can be bought online at or by phone at 865-448-0044. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7:00 p.m.

The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center has gained a reputation as one of the best concert venues in the Smokies. The 350-seat, covered, open-air amphitheater has hosted Grammy winners, hall of famers and up-and-comers. In 2023, there are several specialty concerts planned including:

Leah Marlene w/Trio (April 28)
Darin and Brooke Aldridge (June 9)
On the Border: Ultimate Eagles Tribute (July 28)
Billy Dean (September 8)
High Fidelity (September 22)
Dean Dillon (September 23)
Appalachian Road Show (October 6)

For the full concert schedule visit All tickets are on sale now.