The stars aligned Sunday night (Nov 12) when country’s biggest artists joined forces to raise money for those affected by the September 2017 hurricanes and victims of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas.
Hosted by radio DJ Bobby Bones, the event was home to rocking performances by Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Keith Urban and surprise guest Jon Pardi.
“Our country has been hit hard by tragedy this year,” Bones said. “It’s affected our families. It’s affected our friends. It’s affected the Country music community, but even during those hard times what we always try to do is find the good and make the difference, and tonight we’re trying to make the difference.”
Lady Antebellum opened the show with a few of their biggest hits, as well as an ode to Tom Petty with “Learning To Fly,” Sam Hunt performed “Body Like a Back Road,” Martina McBride belted out “Love’s The Only House,” Keith Urban performed “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” Dierks Bentley performed “Riser,” and surprised the crowd with special guest Jon Pardi, who performed “Dirt On My Boots,” Reba sang “I’m a Survivor,” “Little Bit Town harmonized on “Better Man” and Chris Stapleton sang his current single “Broken Halos,” before announcing that he and his wife Morgane were donating $250,000 to the cause.
But it was Jason Aldean whose words spoke volumes after personally dealing with the mass-shooting in Las Vegas, for which he was present. “It’s been a rough couple months for us up here, and it’s a lot of fun to get back out and play for the people who matter, which is you guys,” Jason said. “I love getting up every day and playing music, and I’ll be damned if anybody out there will ever stop me from doing that.”
Country’s biggest artists came together to raise over $4 million for the Country Rising Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which was established to support charitable initiatives to help victims of the September 2017 hurricanes — Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria. Additionally, the fund will also envelop victims of the recent shooting in Las Vegas.
While Garth Brooks was unable to be at the event due to a scheduling conflict, the “Ask Me How I Know” singer sent in a special video from his concert in Spokane, Wash., where he donated the proceeds from both his weekend shows. And it was the King of Country, George Strait, who closed out the show with his 1982 hit “Amarillo By Morning” and “The Fireman.”
Fans unable to attend the benefit can continue to give by texting ‘NASHVILLE’ to 41010 or by donating at www.CountryRising.org.
Jason and Brittany Aldean
Little Big Town
Dierks Bentley and Jon Pardi
All photos provided courtesy of Getty Images