John Rich has made no secret of his admiration for Alabama lead singer Randy Owen, even producing his solo album, "One On One," a few years back. So it stands to reason the singer had to take a special amount of pride in being the first artist presented the Randy Owen Angels Among Us award this weekend during the Country Cares For St. Jude Kids Seminar in Memphis.
The award recognizes a member of the country music industry who demonstrates an immeasurable commitment and dedication to kids battling cancer and other deadly diseases at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Last year, Rich drew national attention to the top-ranked children's cancer research hospital when he won the hit NBC show "Celebrity Apprentice." Rich competed on the show on behalf of St. Jude and helped raise more than $1.4 million for the organization.
"St. Jude holds a very special place in my heart," said Rich. "It's like no other place and I'm just so honored to help raise awareness for this organization and to receive the first-ever Angels Among Us Award from Randy."
Owen started Country Cares for St. Jude Kids in 1989 when he appealed to his fellow country music artists, radio stations and loyal country music listeners to help support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude. Since it began, Country Cares has raised more than $400 million for St. Jude.
"This past year John really embodied what Country Cares for St. Jude Kids is all about," said Owen. "It's really unbelievable to look back over the past 23 years and see what the country music industry has helped us accomplish for St. Jude. This award is a way for us to say thank you to select members of the industry for their continued commitment and support."