Reba McEntire, on behalf of the Country Radio Broadcasters, presented this year’s CRB Artist Humanitarian Award to Clint Black during Thursday morning’s opening session of Country Radio Seminar 2000.
McEntire, last year’s recipient, cited Black’s contributions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF). She also acknowledged Black’s own charity initiatives: Operation Heartland, which raised money for victims of the 1993 floods in midwest America, and “The Shoes You’re Wearin'” national campaign, which produced over 55,000 pairs of shoes for the needy.
“He not only has a great voice but a big heart,” McEntire said about Black when surprising him with the award.
During his acceptance speech, Black was reluctant to take the glory.
“I truly believe that the real credit goes to the people who do all the hard work out there — the day-to-day stuff — the people that are actually in the communities,” Black said. “The ones that are making sure that food gets where it needs to go, that the shoes get on people’s feet, and that the children get in and out of the hospital alive. They are our heroes every day in this country.”
Black admitted he’s more proud of his involvement with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis than any of his other career endeavors and accomplishments. The seeds of the “Country Cares For St. Jude Kids” radiothon and fundraising campaign were planted at the 1989 Country Radio Seminar when Alabama lead singer Randy Owen challenged country artists and the country radio industry to help raise money for St. Jude.
In eleven years, the program has raised over $100 million for the medical center.
Black thanked the room full of country radio broadcasters for doing their part to make it a success.
“I’m very proud of country radio,” he said. “Country music has the biggest heart in the [entire] industry. I’ve seen it year after year.
“It’s not surprising to me in country music how quick people are to jump up and help.”
The Country Radio Broadcasters also presented humanitarian awards to the following radio stations for their efforts to improve quality of life in the communities they serve. WGAR in Cleveland, Ohio (large market), KXKC in Lafayette, La. (medium market) and WXXQ in Rockford, Ill. (small market).