The Academy of Country Music’s charitable arm ACM Lifting Lives®, CMT, GLAAD, and country music star and philanthropist Ty Herndon today announced new appearances and performances for the upcoming 2020 Concert for Love and Acceptance, set to take place as an online event amid the ongoing COVID19 crisis. Jake Owen, Everette, and Brody Ray join the lineup that includes previously announced appearances and performances by Lauren Alaina, Matt Bomer, Lewis Brice, Terri Clark, Billy Gilman, Mickey Guyton, Dennis Quaid, Kalie Shorr, Tanya Tucker, and Rita Wilson. Up-and-coming artists Shelly Fairchild, Harper Grae, and Brandon Stansell will be honored and featured as the Foundation For Love & Acceptance’s first-ever LGBTQ Country Music Rising Stars.
For the third consecutive year, CMT returns as Presenting Partner of the event, with Cody Alan serving as co-host, a role he’s held for the past four years. A well-known and respected veteran personality, producer and programmer in the broadcast industry, Alan is a past recipient of the ACM National On-Air Personality of the Year award, and host of CMT Hot 20 Countdown, CMT’s flagship music TV show, delivered to over 90 million homes weekly, as well as host and executive producer of CMT After MidNite and CMT Radio Live, heard on 220+ stations, with nearly 8 million monthly listeners.
“CMT is thrilled to amplify our support as the exclusive streaming partner of this year’s show! The caliber of talent coupled with the generosity and support from the country music community to shine a light on these vital issues makes this a truly can’t-miss event. We’re honored to continue our partnership with ACM Lifting Lives and GLAAD who continue to champion these important causes year after year,” said Alan.
Produced by Herndon’s newly formed charitable foundation, The Foundation for Love & Acceptance, the 2020 Concert For Love & Acceptance will be co-hosted by Emmy and Tony Award winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth and Alan, who has hosted the event alongside Herndon since 2017. GLAAD and ACM Lifting Lives® are the beneficiaries of event proceeds.
“Nashville is rapidly changing, and country music is becoming an increasingly affirming place for LGBTQ artists and fans. Now in our fifth year, we thought it was more important than ever to shine a light on some of the amazing up-and-coming LGBTQ talent, and we’re so pleased to showcase the music of Shelly, Harper, and Brandon,” said Herndon.
ACM Lifting Lives® is a first-time event partner in 2020 and will be allocating proceeds to its initiatives.
“ACM Lifting Lives is honored to join forces with Ty and the Concert for Love and Acceptance,” said Lyndsay Cruz, Executive Director of ACM Lifting Lives. “We’re honored to support the message of creating a more accepting environment and jumped at the opportunity to help inspire awareness, and healing, through the power of music.”
GLAAD and Herndon created the first Concert for Love and Acceptance in 2015 shortly after Herndon became the first male country artist to come out as gay. Event appearances and performances have included Vince Gill, Tanya Tucker, Reba McEntire, Lee Brice, Tyler Rich, Michael Ray, Rita Wilson, Chris Daughtry, Terri Clark, Chris Carmack, Gavin DeGraw, Crystal Gayle, Billy Gilman, Cassadee Pope, Calum Scott, Mickey Guyton, Levi Hummon, Cam, Cale Dodds, Tayla Lynn, Runaway June, Chely Wright, Billy Dean, Hunter Hayes, Brandon Stansell, Meghan Lindsey, Thompson Square, WWE Superstars, Meghan McCain, and more.
“GLAAD is proud to have been Ty Herndon’s partner in this groundbreaking endeavor since 2015, and as we press on through this very difficult moment in the health and safety of our nation, LGBTQ Americans are especially vulnerable – including LGBTQ youth who may be isolating in homes that are not accepting of them. Many of them – and their families – are country music fans, and this event will send affirming messages of support and encouragement around the globe,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD.
Herndon will also serve as executive producer of the 2020 Concert for Love & Acceptance, alongside returning executive producer Zeke Stokes, who has been in that role since the Concert began in 2015. Stokes is President of the newly formed ZS STRATEGIES and a former Vice President of GLAAD.
For more information and ongoing updates, as well as to RSVP for the live online event, visit the Foundation for Love and Acceptance at www.F4LA.org.
About ACM Lifting Lives®: ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to IMPROVING LIVES THROUGH THE POWER OF MUSIC™. Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives® funds music health programs while also serving members of the music community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. With generous donations and the support of artists and fans, ACM Lifting Lives® has funded national music therapy programs serving various mental and physical health organizations. Some of the recipients have included patients at children’s hospitals and other healthcare facilities, recovering veterans, people with Williams syndrome, and individuals suffering with mental illness. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.
About CMT: CMT is the leading authority on country music and lifestyle, offering a mix of original series, music events and specials. CMT is everywhere its fans are including two cable channels (CMT and the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music), radio (CMT Radio), digital (CMT.com) and social (CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube). CMT is a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”). For more information, please visit cmtpress.com.
About The Foundation for Love & Acceptance: Founded by Grammy nominated and Dove Award winning country music artist and philanthropist Ty Herndon, the Foundation for Love & Acceptance uses the power of music and media to support the country music community and raise vital funds to support LGBTQ youth and families. For more information, visit www.F4LA.org.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.