Photo by Zack Knudsen

Drake White’s Charity Concert Raises Over $253,000

Four years after recovering from an on-stage stroke, Country-Soul artist-songwriter Drake White hosts his first ever sold-out charity concert “Benefit for the Brain” at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Monday night (8/28). Performances from White and other friends including Riley Green, Randy Houser and Jamey Johnson, PLUS a surprise appearance from Colbie Caillat, lit up the Mother Church of Country music.

White kicked off the night with a medley of songs including “The Coast Is Clear,” the song White was unable to finish performing four years ago on stage in Roanoke, VA due to his stroke. He told his inspiring account of the story to the crowd before singing and finished by stating he would make it through the song tonight.

More special moments graced the packed-out pews last night, including Jamey Johnson inviting Riley Green on stage to sing Johnson’s 2008 award-winning hit, “In Color.” GRAMMY-winning artist and White’s good friend, Colbie Caillat surprised the audience for a special duet of White’s compelling “Power of a Woman.” And White delivered a delicately booming stripped down acoustic version of “The Optimystic” to a captivated audience resulting in a standing ovation.

White explained to the audience, “After my stroke all I wanted to do was get back to the stage. This is what I was born to do, and this is what God put me on Earth to do. To stand on this Ryman stage and host this charity concert.”

In total, “Benefit for the Brain” raised over a whopping $253,000 with proceeds benefitting 501(c)(3) organizations CreatiVets, Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee and the Miracle Hope Foundation. These organizations were hand-picked to reflect the three specific pillars White was focused on benefiting: military personnel and their families with a focus on PTSD and other related issues; child and adolescent brain health; and progressive research into alternative brain and stroke treatments.

The audience heard inspiring stories from special guest speakers throughout the night. Having performed seven brain surgeries on White, Nashville-based neurosurgeon Dr. Mericle, was the first guest speaker of the night, who was followed by Beth Torres from Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee. Other guests included Ed Clay, founder of Cellular Performance Institute, and Richard Casper who co-founded a non-profit for wounded veterans, CreatiVets. The heartfelt evening was emceed by Miles Adcox, founder of Onsite a wellness organization focused on life-changing therapeutic framework.

About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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