Country Giving: What Hillary Scott, Kenny Chesney and Walker Hayes Are Doing to Benefit Others
Hillary Scott and songwriter-producer Ross Copperman (Dierks Bentley, Brett Eldredge) spent part of the morning on June 18 working with Williams syndrome patients in Nashville as the Academy of Country Music's ACM Lifting Lives fund continues a program to aid research into the developmental disorder.
It was not an isolated act of charity. Craig Morgan performed with the Williams syndrome group at the Grand Ole Opry on June 19 at the close of the camp, a series of activities that have also involved Kip Moore, Danielle Bradbery, Brandon Lay, Cassadee Pope and songwriter Jon Nite ("Break Up in the End," "Think a Little Less"). It marks the ninth year that the ACM has held the camp in conjunction with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.
A few other announcements underscored country artists' community-minded dispositions:
• Kenny Chesney has pledged to donate all his proceeds from his Songs for Saints album, due July 27 through Blue Chair/Warner Bros., to Virgin Island hurricane relief.
• Walker Hayes announced the formation of the Be a Craig Fund. Named for his current single, "Craig," it's hailed as a vehicle to aid "special people just looking for a little help."
• Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, John Berry and Sugarland's Kristian Bush were added to the lineup for the annual Georgia on My Mind benefit on June 26 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. The concert is organized by The Peach Pickers -- songwriters Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip and Dallas Davidson -- with funds aiding schools and music nonprofits in Georgia.