“The Concert for Love & Acceptance,” the annual LGBTQ-supportive benefit show out of Nashville, has revealed a preliminary talent lineup for this year’s webcast that includes Lauren Alaina, Dennis Quaid, Rita Wilson, Kalie Shorr, Terri Clark, Billy Gilman and Lewis Brice.
Previously announced were Tanya Tucker, as the show-opening performer, and Kristen Chenoweth and country music radio/TV personality Cody Alan as hosts. Event founder Ty Herndon, who previously co-hosted with Alan, is back on board as executive producer.
More names will be added prior to the June 30 livestream, which during this quarantine season is subbing for the live event that has been put on in Nashville during the week of the CMA Festival since 2015.
GLAAD is one of the partners with and beneficiaries of the event, as it has been from the beginning. “Working with Ty Herndon and Cody Alan again on this year’s Concert for Love & Acceptance in Nashville will further messages of love and support for the LGBTQ community in the South,” said Anthony Ramos, the head of talent for GLAAD. “There has been a noticeable and significant shift in country stars using their influence and voice to call for change and to support LGBTQ fans. We know that the messages and performances in this year‘s streaming event will continue to uplift the LGBTQ community and remind people that we are all much more alike than different.“
Several mainstream country orgs participate in the event, including, for the third year, CMT. The Academy of Country Music’s Lifting Lives will also benefit from the show and is taking part in the Concert for Love & Acceptance for the first time this year.
“ACM Lifting Lives is excited to help support and spread the message of acceptance and inclusivity through our partnership with the Concert of Love and Acceptance,” said Lyndsay Cruz, executive director of the ACM’s charitable arm. “The powerful lineup of artists joining forces during one of our nation’s most difficult times to share this uplifting message is a testament to the healing power of music. We are proud to partner with Ty and be a part of this positive wave of change within the industry.”
Others taking part in the webcast include country artist Mickey Guyton, who will speak, and actor-producer Matt Bomer, who’ll introduce Wilson.
The show will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube and at www.F4LA.org/concert,
Herndon, known for his No. 1 country hits in the ’90s, came out as gay in 2014 and began producing the show the following year as the result of a desire to show how much of the Nashville community publicly stands behind the LGBTQ community.
“Since we began this show in 2015,” said Herndon, “we have watched it grow and evolve to be bigger and better, even as we have watched the country music industry and community become more and more inclusive. This year is bittersweet, because we can’t celebrate all the great progress we have made with a live event in Nashville, but we’re looking forward to sharing our message of love and acceptance with a worldwide audience online. I know in my heart that the world sure needs more of that right now.”
Co-executive producing with Herndon is Zeke Stokes, a former VP of GLAAD who is now president of ZS Strategies.
More information about the webcast and Herndon’s newly formed Foundation for Love and Acceptance can be found here.