Lady Antebellum Honored With 2016 Music Heals Award at Musicians on Call Event
Lady Antebellum were celebrated by Musicians on Call on Tuesday night (Aug. 9) at a private event at Nashville's Hard Rock Cafe. The non-profit organization brings music to the bedsides of hospital patients, and over the past six years, the country trio have lent their support in the form of fundraisers, hospital visits and performances.
Lady Antebellum were honored with the 2016 Music Heals Award. Pete Griffin, President of Musicians on Call, says anytime the organization needs assistance, Lady A are the first to raise their hands. Meanwhile, the country trio shared their appreciation for Musicians on Call, saying that they hope to use their platform as artists for good.
"We always want to try and give back, help when we can, visit when we can," Dave Haywood tells Taste of Country on the red carpet before the ceremony. "It's so cool to see people have such a smile on their face in the middle of such a tough time. This organization does it better than anybody, to have people show up all over the U.S. and the world for people in need. It's amazing."
Hillary Scott knows firsthand the power of music, having seen how her late grandfather responded to it while battling leukemia in a hospital five years ago.
"One of the things we love most about music is how healing it can be," she explains. "I know for me personally, walking through a really difficult time with my grandfather, watching how music helped him through in the hospital on some really hard days ... I think we recognize the power that music really has."
Lady Antebellum have seen the impact their own music has made on fans, and each member says it is always an honor to learn the influence of their craft.
"That's one of the coolest things. After these shows people say a certain song get you through these moments. You can't help but want to give back because you have this platform," Charles Kelley adds.
The evening also served as a way to commemorate the Half a Million Moments campaign — a major milestone that celebrates the organization having performed for half a million patients, families and caregivers.
"We've played for half a million in hospitals across the country," Griffin tells Taste of Country. "Musicians on Call organizes all these amazing volunteers and musicians and sponsors that really believe in the power of music. Tonight we want to use this event to celebrate all these people."
The evening did just that, as several musicians who have been a part of Musicians on Call took the stage to perform a song by Lady Antebellum. After a performance by Mama Dear, the organization honored several volunteers and former board members before Lindsay Ell and surprise guests Hunter Hayes and Eric Paslay took the stage.
Ell, who has frequently volunteered for Musicians on Call, says she is often moved during her time playing in hospitals.
"The fact that you can walk into a room and bring a little bit of hope and light into the lives of kids and their families who a lot of times, many days they don't even see a lot of hope," she shares. "So, the fact that we can come in with a guitar for three minutes and play a Taylor Swift song that a little girl or boy can sing along to is incredible."
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Ell recalls a time she performed with Bobby Bones and a little boy took Bones' shaker and ran around the room with it. His parents were laughing along, and for one song, there was some joy brought into the hospital room.
Calling Lady Antebellum role models of hers, Ell performed the trio's former single "Downtown" as well as her own "All Alright." Later, Hayes took the stage for a song he wrote with Lady A, "Where It All Begins," as well as "Compass."
"This song hit me in a time that I really needed it," he says of "Compass." "Speaking about the power of music, you find a song that you latch onto and it lifts you. I remember when I heard this song for the first time and it did that for me. You guys are a shining example of the power of music and how it moves people."
Later, Paslay surprised his frequent collaborators with a moving performance of the band's "Golden," as well as his new single "Angels in This Town." Telling Lady Antebellum that he looks up to them, as they're good people, he added that "music is one of the most powerful drugs."
In addition to honoring Lady Antebellum and MOC volunteers, the night served as a fundraiser where several autographed guitars from the artists were auctioned off. By the close of the evening, $95,000 had been raised. For more information on Musicians on Call or to donate, visit their website.
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