Drake White hosted his first-ever, sold-out charity “Benefit for the Brain” concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Monday night (Aug. 28), just four years after recovering from a stroke he suffered on stage.
White and friends including Riley Green, Randy Houser and Jamey Johnson performed during the special evening, along with Colbie Caillat, who made a surprise appearance. The benefit was emceed by Miles Adcox, Founder of Onsite, a wellness organization focused on life-changing therapeutic framework.
White kicked off the night with a medley of tunes including “The Coast Is Clear,” the song he was unable to finish performing four years ago on stage in Virginia due to his stroke. He told his inspiring account of the story to the crowd before singing and finished by stating he would make it through the song tonight.
Other highlights of the evening included Jamey Johnson inviting Riley Green on stage to sing Johnson’s 2008 award-winning hit, “In Color.” White’s good friend Caillat surprised the audience for a special duet of White’s compelling “Power of a Woman,” and White delivered a stripped down, acoustic version of “The Optimystic” to a captivated audience, resulting in a standing ovation.
“After my stroke all I wanted to do was get back to the stage,” said White to the crowd. “This is what I was born to do, and this is what God put me on earth to do. To stand on this Ryman stage and host this charity concert.”
“Benefit for the Brain” raised over $253,000 during the night, with proceeds benefitting organizations CreatiVets, Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee and the Miracle Hope Foundation. These organizations were hand-picked to reflect the three specific pillars White was focused on benefiting: military personnel and their families with a focus on PTSD and other related issues; child and adolescent brain health; and progressive research into alternative brain and stroke treatments.
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