Brad Paisley, Addie Pratt Surprise St. Jude Country Cares Crowd With ‘Alive Right Now’
A room filled with music industry insiders can be tough to please, but Brad Paisley and Addie Pratt didn't struggle during the annual St. Jude Country Cares songwriter's concert in Memphis, Tenn., on Saturday (Jan. 18).
Much like they did during Paisley's television special in December, the pair sang "Alive Right Now," a song the hitmaker wrote a year ago with longtime co-writer Kelley Lovelace. The lyric overflows with optimism, but never nears corny. Before the performance, Paisley recognized that having Pratt join him was the perfect cherry on top.
"When I sing the words, ‘It’s great to be alive right now,’ that’s one thing. But hearing them from you?” he said, turning to Addie. “She said it in a way that I can’t say it."
Pratt is more than just a fortunate college freshman. The Mississippi native was a cancer patient at St. Jude just a few years ago — one who passed time between treatments by songwriting. She found her voice as a little girl, but found a way to funnel her experiences into "I Hold On," a song about hope, faith and perseverance. These are words you hear a lot when talking to people (patients, staff and outsiders) who've visited the children's research hospital.
"It's great to be a live right now / By the grace of God somehow / No one knows how long a time / But guess what, you're alive right now," Pratt sings during the final chorus of "Alive Right Now." Before the performance, Paisley set the song up by reminding everyone that even during these divided times, it's still a great planet.
"Don’t lose sight of that," he shared, guitar in hand, flanked by Brett Young and Randy Owen, the two other performers during the annual Country Cares Songwriter's Dinner. "The greatest example, I think, of what humankind is capable of is this hospital."
Paisley has long been a supporter of St. Jude. In fact, in 2018 he was honored with the Angels Among Us Award — an honor given to a country artist who goes above and beyond for St. Jude, like Country Cares founder Owen. Lady Antebellum were bestowed the honor in 2020.
Pratt is focused on college right now, but admits Paisley has been helpful in guiding her country music dreams. Talking to Taste of Country before Friday night's ceremony for Lady A, she said she wasn't nervous to sing. She wasn't nervous the last time, either, even though she knew the television audience would be in the millions. Call her a natural ... or call it part of God' plan.
“I’m really thankful for all I’ve been given,” she admits, “So I don’t want to pretend I’m something I’m not. It’s a really unattractive quality in people, who think their blessings are something that they’ve done. When really everything’s been given to us.”
Country Cares is the country music community's on-going fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In 31 years, more than $850 million has been raised. On Feb. 6-7, Taste of Country will assist a dozen-plus country radio stations in raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with a webathon/radiothon. More than $9.2 million has been raised during the previous six joint efforts, with much more raised from other TSM stations later in the year. If you'd like to donate, check here for various options.
See Pictures From St. Jude Country Cares Weekend In Memphis, Tenn.