Lady Antebellum: Being Able to Help Causes Like St. Jude Is ‘What Life Is Really About’
Longtime supporters of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids program Lady Antebellum were recognized for their efforts in January: The trio received the 2020 Randy Owen Angels Among Us Award, during the hospital's annual Country Cares seminar weekend in Memphis, Tenn.
Leading up to the big moment, it had been a busy few days for Lady A, who also saw their single, "What If I Never Get Over You," go No. 1 at country radio during the same week. Bandmate Hillary Scott reflected to The Boot that being at St. Jude was a reminder of how gratifying it is to have the platform to help such a deserving cause.
"I am such a believer in timing, and the lessons that we can learn in the midst of this," Scott reflects. "This is the incredible honor of being able to use the platform that we've been given.
"The success of "What If I Never Get Over You" is incredible, but then to be here -- to see this hospital, and what they're doing to save lives -- that's what it's all about," she continues. "That's what life is really about. It's about using your platform and doing good for others in need."
The 2020 Country Cares weekend was an impactful one for Lady Antebellum, the band admits, explaining that they'd heard a number of powerful stories from patients and their families. "They all stand out, they really do -- all these kids that are from nine weeks old to 20 years old," the band's Dave Haywood says.
"It's a lot of special stories that are in our minds," he adds, "and every time we do the work, we always think of them."
The flip side of that experience, Haywood goes on to say, is how he and his bandmates have been affected by the years that they've been coming to St. Jude. "We walked through these doors about 10 years ago, when we were just starting out with our first song on radio," he recalls.
"I see a lot of artists [doing the same thing now], and I'm so thrilled for them, because it changed the trajectory of what we were gonna do, as far as our charity organization and giving each year," Haywood admits. "It's been a priority every year."
Over the years, Lady Antebellum have also become parents themselves. That makes their connection to St. Jude even more personal, they explain.
"You can't help but think, 'How would I react if I was in this situation?' So you feel for a lot of these parents and the strength that they show," says Charles Kelley. "I think that's what the best thing about this place is, that it's all free, and I think to take that burden off [the parents] is huge."
For his part, Alabama member and Country Cares founder Randy Owen says that Lady A are an integral part of the diverse group of artists leading country radio's partnership with St. Jude into the next generation.
"I personally love their music," he notes. "And I think what they do for St. Jude, I'm just thrilled that they're involved."
In 1989, Owen formally began country's connection to St. Jude by founding St. Jude Cares for Country Kids, a program that, through annual radiothons, has raised more than $800 million for the pediatric cancer research hospital.
"I feel like that's our duty as a country music entertainer," Owen reflects. "It's not just singing songs for people and entertaining. It's what we do with the platform that we've so luckily been given. I say 'given' -- we've worked for the platform. But I think there's more to what we do than just singing songs."
On Feb. 6-7, more than a dozen country radio stations owned by Townsquare Media, The Boot's parent company, will hold their 2020 Country Cares radiothons to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In the past six years, these stations have raised more than $9.2 million, and even more money has come from additional TSM stations that hold radiothons later in the year. To join the fight against childhood cancer and become a Partner in Hope, visit St. Jude's official website.
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