Stars Support Pride Month at Ty Herndon’s 2019 Concert for Love & Acceptance
Ty Herndon teamed up with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) for their 5th Annual Concert for Love & Acceptance, which took place at the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville on June 6 during CMA Fest in 2019. An all-star roster of stars from Nashville and beyond were on hand to perform and show support for the cause.
CMT's Cody Alan co-hosted the event alongside Herndon, who has become an important voice for LGBTQ rights since he came out in November of 2014. Alan came out in 2017.
Rita Wilson was on hand to perform. The singer and actor, who is spending part of 2019 on the road with Kristian Bush, tells Taste of Country that she only met Herndon that night, but she was previously aware of him through a song that he recorded called "The Fighter." Annie Bosko wrote "The Fighter," and she and Wilson are frequent co-writers. Wilson said her goal at the GLAAD benefit was simply to "just rock out and enjoy."
Singer and songwriter Levi Hummon also attended the event as a guest to support Herndon and his cause.
"I was hanging out at the CMT Awards, and Ty was like, 'I have two tickets, you want to come?'" Hummon shares. "So I decided to come. I'm not performing. I'm literally just here to support the LGBTQ community. I think it's so important, as a Nashvillian born and raised, to recognize that this is a diverse city and it's important to recognize that, to try and expand that."
See Highlights From the 2019 Concert for Love & Acceptance
Tayla Lynn showed support for the event while also tributing her grandmother, Loretta Lynn.
"Ty Hendron and I have been great friends for about fifteen years," she relates. "I've been following this event since he's been doing it, but I've always been out on tour when it's happening."
"I'm singing my grandmother's music, I'm representing her tonight," Lynn added.
Mickey Guyton says the answer was easy when she was asked to perform again in 2019.
"Absolutely, I wouldn't miss it," she states. "This concert for love and acceptance, it is a huge part of my life. Being a black woman in country music, knowing what it feels like to not always feel accepted, it is absolutely important for me to be here and show love and solidarity for my LGBTQ community."
WWE superstars Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose attended the event to support the cause and hear some of their favorite music.
"Well it means a lot to us as a whole company, and of course Sonya Deville, being the first openly lesbian in WWE, which is a big thing," Rose said with a smile. "Obviously, I'm a huge supporter, she's my best friend. Just means a lot to us spread the love and acceptance we're here for and show all of our fans out there that it's okay to be who you are."
The wrestling divas revealed they are huge fans of country music, and they shared some singalong videos to social media during the performance. They named Kenny Chesney, Lee Brice and Keith Urban as some of their favorite artists, adding that they are "huge country fans all around."
Surprise performers during the evening included Hunter Hayes and Gavin DeGraw. Chris Daughtry also performed an acoustic set at the 2019 Concert for Love & Acceptance, which featured a coalition of artists and celebrities appearing and performing to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were also present to support their friend Wilson and the LGBTQ community.
Co-host and performer Herndon closed the show with his recently re-recorded 1995 hit “What Mattered Most,” which gave him his first No. 1 hit when it was released as the lead single from his debut album of the same name in 1995. He recently updated the lyrics of the song with LGBTQ-appropriate pronouns, marking the first time he's ever recorded the song from his true perspective.
GLAAD has also announced the Ty Herndon Rising Stars Grant, which is given to people for their commitment to enhancing LGBTQ inclusion and representation in music. The grant is eligible to LGBTQ young people who are working to accelerate acceptance in the music industry. Applications for the grant are now available.
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