Carrie Underwood, Terri Clark, Jo Dee Messina, Lorrie Morgan and Mindy Smith were among those raising the awareness of breast cancer during the “Opry Goes Pink” night at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Commemorating breast cancer awareness month, the Opry’s signature barn backdrop took on a pink hue when Underwood flipped the switch at Friday’s (Oct. 2) performance.
Robin Roberts, a breast cancer survivor who co-anchors ABC’s Good Morning America served as a guest announcer, and a portion of the Opry’s proceeds that night were donated to Women Rock for the Cure and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
“One in eight women is going to be touched by breast cancer in their lifetime,” said Tina Hamilton, a representative of the Nashville affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “And when I say touched, that means a diagnosis. So partnering with a landmark like the Grand Old Opry is a great opportunity for us to get the message out — early detection, mammograms and … to raise awareness for what Komen’s doing nationally and also what were doing here locally.”
Underwood said the Opry performance provided the perfect opportunity to spread the message.
“People are going to be here anyway,” she told CMT Insider. “Some people may not even know that we’re turning the Opry pink. They might be out there and learn something new.
“There are a lot of people out there who have been fighters and who have made it through cancer, but there are a lot of us who don’t want to have to go through that fight. Of course, nobody wants to, but we want to make sure that doesn’t happen, so we’re honoring the people who have been through it and who have made it through it. We’re supporting them, we’re raising awareness and we’re hoping to stop it in its tracks.”
Clark noted that her mother has been battling cancer.
“Not breast cancer, but cancer,” she said. “Supporting anything that is trying to raise awareness, raise money … is a very important thing to me, very near and dear to my heart. So I’m really honored to be a part of this tonight.”
Roberts is glad she told TV viewers about her breast cancer diagnosis.
“At the beginning, I didn’t really want to share with people because it is so personal, and you don’t know what the outcome is going to be,” she explained. “So you only want to tell your family and your friends. But I’m so glad I did. I’m so glad I’ve been able to be a symbol. So many people come up to me and say they remembered me going through it, so it gave them a point of reference. … It sort of demystified it in some ways.”
Roberts agreed that the Opry is an excellent forum to raise awareness of the disease.
“You have no idea what it means it means to the movement when you have the Grand Ole Opry going pink,” she said. “People who might not even know that it’s breast cancer awareness month. … They love the Grand Ole Opry, they love the singers, so they’re going to pay attention. Anything we can do to bring awareness, to bring hope, to bring hope, to bring dollars, this is a big step in the right direction.”