Alan Jackson headlined the Stars Go Blue benefit concert for the Colon Cancer Alliance Wednesday night at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, and Alan has a very personal connection to that cause. His wife Denise survived a battle with colon cancer several years ago, and she is the person who convinced Alan to perform the show.
Alan was happy to oblige saying, "That's the easiest thing I can do is walk out there and sing, and it's nice to have your music do something other than just go out and entertain people normally, and be able to use your music to help a cause like this."
Though many of the audience members had been through cancer battles of their own, Alan made it clear he was there to have a good time. The set list was dotted with Alan's mighty catalog of hits including "Livin' on Love," "Gone Country," "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow," "Good Time" and many more.
The only somber moment of the night came when Alan performed "When I Saw You Leaving," an emotionally charged song Alan wrote about Denise's cancer battle. It was the first time he'd performed that song since recording it for his 2012 album, Thirty Miles West.
Country newcomer Craig Campbell opened the show, and he sought out a spot on the bill because of his personal experience with colon cancer. Craig's father died of the disease at age 36, and that has prompted Craig to get screened regularly.
He says, "I've been having colonscopies. I've had two. I've had one at the age of 26 and one at five years. But yeah, it’s a personal thing."
Craig has opened shows for Alan before, but he'd never met the country legend before Wednesday night. Craig and Alan have the same producer, Keith Stegall, so they had plenty to talk about when Alan invited Craig onto his bus before the show.
Says Craig, " When I walked on his bus, we was talking a minute, and then he's like, 'Keith played me your album. I love it.' And then he started naming off songs off my record. I just thought that was the coolest thing."
For more information on the fight against colon cancer, go to CCAlliance.org.
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