Country Hits Back 2nd Annual Fundraiser Hosted by Wade Hayes
Watching someone you love fight cancer is not an easy task. Losing someone is equally as difficult. When the fight to beat cancer becomes your own, life gets put into perspective. As many of you know, National Recording Artist Wade Hayes knows what that fight is like. Hayes fought his own battle with Stage 4 colon cancer twice. Though his prognosis was not great, Hayes was determined he could fight and win after meeting a man that gave him hope.
Using his doctors advice to "Live his life", Hayes knew there was a song to be written. "Go Live Your Life" gained the attention of many and also became the title of his latest album. The lyrics make you realize that life is precious and often too short to waste. Sometimes in life, it takes something big to make you see the small and beautiful things all around you.
Determined to help find a cure for colon cancer, Hayes has put his talent to work. With the help of some extremely talented and very special friends, Country Hits Back was birthed. Kix Brooks, Steve Wariner, and Miranda Lambert were the first to headline the annual concert event to join Hayes and his efforts to raise funds for Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Be sure to watch our conversation to learn more about this event and what it means to him.
Seating about 300 guests, the Franklin Theatre exclusive concert event was a sold out success. Tickets ranged in price from $68 to $90 and limited VIP tables were available as well. For those who were unable to attend this spectacular event, we have included some highlights for you to watch. Plans are already in the works for an even bigger event next year, so do not miss out.
Up first, was none other than Hayes. What a superb opening to a thrilling night. Hayes did not disappoint. His fans were elated to hear their favorite tunes and began screaming and cheering in approval of his exceptional performance. He also had fans laughing at some of the things he said upon that stage. After his performance, the entire audience gave Hayes a well-deserved standing ovation. Observing this beautiful moment was remarkable.
Next on stage was Wariner. This is a man that surprised me. He is one amazing artist and all around great man. Watching him during sound check left me amazed. His stage presence alone was completely captivating. His personality had everyone smiling and happy. During his performance, Hayes and his band joined him. The chemistry between them was outstanding and their smiles were infectious. Wariner knows how to rock the stage and enchant the fans completely. I have to give a shout out to his wife Karen, she is extremely nice and fun to be around as well.
Following a 15 minute intermission, Brooks hit the stage with some immediate stories to share. Everyone seemed to be entranced by them, waiting to hear what happened next. Several times the audience roared with laughter, then Brooks simply transitioned into song seamlessly. Never missing a beat and then telling another story really seemed to work. I think we were all in stitches. He is simply a great entertainer and a thrill to speak with.
Lambert took the stage next. Witnessing her perform in such an intimate venue was a pleasure. Her cute and fun personality shined through her beautiful, bright smile. The crowd erupted in cheer at the end of "White Liar" and laughed at her funny remarks in between songs. Watching her perform without a full band and seeing her have fun on that stage was great. Knowing she could have been at any other venue that night, but chose to support Hayes in his efforts is incredible. Though we do not have video to share of this wonderful moment, we have many pictures to share.
One last song, the finale. Brooks, Wariner, and Hayes all took the stage together for one last song. What a special moment it was. The smiles, laughter and fun that ensued cannot be measured. The night ended on one of the greatest highs in history. Center Stage Magazine will definitely be at the next one. Will You? ~Missy
***For those of you who wish to donate to this cause, it is not too late***
Simply mail a check or money order made payable to Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center to 2525 West End Ave, Suite 450, Nashville, TN 37203. In the memo line of the check, write "Wade Hayes Benefit", so the donation is put into the right fund.
To donate online, go to https://webapp.mis.vanderbilt.edu/olga/pub/landing?appealCode=1014A
This link was set up specifically for Wade’s concert and any donations made through this link will go to the proper fund.