Brantley Gilbert and Other Stars Know a Secret About St. Jude
Dozens, if not hundreds of country artists have traveled to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital thinking they'd be doing some good for kids who need it. They leave knowing a different reality.
As appreciative as the kids and families are when celebrities like Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, LoCash and Randy Owen visit the world-renowned, Memphis-based hospital for Country Cares weekend, the artists take as much away from the visit as they put in — perhaps even more. The lessons that come from kids battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses are precious and life-changing.
"It's always uplifting, it's always positive, it's always can-do and it's always persistent," Hayes says in the above video.
"They're stronger than we are," Runaway June's Jennifer Wayne admits. More than a dozen artists talked to Taste of Country about their experience at St. Jude last month. Some were visiting for the first time and just beginning to understand the mission and positive atmosphere the doctors and staff have built, with the help of country music fans. Others were visiting for a second or third (or more) time.
Gilbert and the members of LoCash were visiting for the first time since they became parents — and that changed the experience.
"Small stuff bothers us sometimes and then you get here and are like, no," LoCash's Chris Lucas says. "They're staying positive through the whole thing, laughing and cheering."
"The strength and courage that they have with so much they have going on, we really have no reason to ever have a bad day," Stephanie Quayle confesses.
Country Cares is the country music community's long-standing effort to raise money for St. Jude. In 2019 the initiative celebrates 30 years, with more than $800 million raised and significant advances made in medicine, treatment and cure rates. Alabama's Randy Owen founded Country Cares at the encouragement of the hospital's founder, Danny Thomas, but in the decades since, the torch has been picked up by nearly every singer in the format. Jake Owen, Clint Black and Michael Ray were three more on hand in January.
From Feb. 7-8, Taste of Country will assist more than a dozen country radio stations in raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with a webathon/radiothon. Nearly $7 million has been raised during the previous five joint efforts, with much more raised from other TSM stations later in the year. If you'd like to donate, check here for various options.
Country Artists at St. Jude Through the Years