CMT will air an all-star concert special next Thursday (May 12) to raise money for people affected by the recent devastating storms, floods and tornadoes. The 90-minute special will air live from Nashville at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CMT and will be simulcast on CMT.com. All money raised will benefit the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts.
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[Updated: Although there will be no studio audience at the telethon, viewers are encouraged to show their support by pledging money to the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts during the special.]
Hank Williams Jr. got the ball rolling on the event this past weekend by contacting CMT to express his urgent desire to address the disaster. "I just couldn't believe what I was seeing on TV. Alabama is home -- I am really pumped about helping. I want to raise a lot of money, and thanks to my good friends, we are going to be able to make a difference," he said.
Additional guests include Alabama, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.
"We've seen the damage and destruction first hand, and we've seen the hopeless looks in the eyes of our fellow Alabamians. Our wishes are to bring hope and to let the folks know that we deeply care about them. Thanks to our friends at CMT and God bless Alabama and all the other states that were damaged," said Randy Owen, lead singer in Alabama.
"I lived for many years in Oklahoma, in the heart of Tornado Alley. I never saw this kind of devastation. Anything I can do to help ... I will," said Dunn.
"As we learned last year with the Nashville floods, the key to recovery is helping out your neighbors. I couldn't be happier to be a part of this effort and contribute to drawing attention to the devastation at home and in our neighboring states," said McGraw.
"CMT's audience is reaching out to us, and to our stars, in desperation," said Brian Philips, president, CMT. "The other seismic news events of the past few days have had the unintended effect of limiting media coverage of this massive, historic American disaster. Simply put, CMT and our artists will not allow this to happen. We will raise money, and we will shine the brightest possible light on the urgent needs of our courageous neighbors. On behalf of CMT, MTV Networks and Viacom, we strongly urge other organizations to join us in this labor of love."
"Our hearts go out to every person affected by these storms, and we're grateful for every donation that enables the Red Cross to do whatever we possibly can do to ease their suffering and give them help," said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross.
CMT One Country, the network's pro-social initiative, encourages viewers to support those affected by the storms, floods and tornadoes. Please text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to support the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts.