Several country artists showed up in their ’80s best, for the second annual Dance Party to End Alz on Sunday, June 3 at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon. Hosted by Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Blair Garner, the sold-out event raised more than $340,000 for Alzheimer’s Association care, support and research programs.
Brad Paisley offered renditions of ‘80s classics “Boys of Summer” and “Hot for Teacher,” while Chris Young tackled “You Dropped a Bomb on Me.”
Darius Rucker made a surprise appearance, joining Paisley on “Purple Rain,” while Nashville star Charles Esten offered “With or Without You.”
Chase Bryant brought a soulful groove on “Superstition” and “Dirty Diana,” followed by Ashley Campbell‘s light-hearted romp on “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Jamie O’Neal‘s commanding voice was more than capable on “Flashdance”; Lindsay Ell channeled her inner rocker on “Another One Bites the Dust,” while Emily West paid tribute to Whitney Houston on “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
Duo High Valley offered the Wang Chung ‘80’s anthem, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” while Radio Romance offered Alabama’s ‘80s country hit, “Mountain Music.” Country newcomer Jay Allen shared his very personal story about his mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis before performing “Blank Stares,” a song inspired by her.
Accompanied throughout the evening by the Matte Gray Band, all artists took the stage for the group finale, a rousing take on “Thriller.”
During the program, host Kimberly Williams-Paisley was joined on stage by her friend, Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden. Both women have chronicled the stories of their mothers’ lives after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in best-selling books and they shared touching thoughts with the audience about the urgent need to support the Alzheimer’s Association to change the course of this disease for the millions affected.
“I’m here tonight because of my mom who had Alzheimer’s and my entire family who went through the experience with her. We lost my mom 2016 and since then I’ve connected with so many people affected by this disease,” Kimberly Williams-Paisley shared. “Unfortunately, people with Alzheimer’s and those around them feel the stigma associated with this disease, and that keeps people from having important conversations and sharing their story to bring Alzheimer’s and other dementias out of the shadows. Together, all of us here in this room – each and every one of us – we are changing the world by imagining a world without Alzheimer’s disease and by supporting the Alzheimer’s Association.”
All proceeds raised through the Nashville Dance Party to End Alz support Alzheimer’s Association research programs.
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