Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams Paisley Go Back to the ’80s For a Good Cause

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Brad Paisley Kimberly Williams Paisley event
Photos courtesy Photo by Getty Images for Alzheimer's Association

There’s no question that country music reigns supreme in Music City, but on Sunday, June 3, country took a bit of a backseat when artists like Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Lindsay Ell, and Charles Esten took the stage at downtown Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon.

For a few hours, those talented artists treated the packed honky-tonk to the best pop, rock…and yes, a touch of country music from the 80s and, in the process, raised money for the continued fight for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. 

Decked out in layers of crinolines, Day-Glo bangles, side-ponies, and mullets the night was full of funky fun. Ashley Campbell’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and Emily West’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” had the dance floor bopping while Charles Esten’s Bono impression on “With or Without You” stopped the crowd in their tracks. Chris Young showed off a few of his own dance moves during “You Dropped a Bomb On Me” and brought a roar of delight from the room. 

Charles Esten at Brad Paisley 80s event

In fact, there was only a single somber moment during the evening. Newcomer Jay Allen’s performance of his poignant “Blank Stares,” written about his own mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, stilled the room momentarily but ended with a standing ovation. 

Although the cause of the event is quite serious, with over five million Americans living with the disease, the light-hearted nature of the concert was intentional. Prior to the start of the show, host Kimberly Williams Paisley explained, “I lost my mom to Alzheimer’s a year and a half ago, and that was obviously very emotional, but I want tonight to mostly focus on people coming together with hope, and with joy, and with community to work together because we all really need to work together to fight this disease.” 

Kimberly’s co-host, media personality Blair Garner, added, “At the end of the day, I think what we do with our lives is try to leave our world a little bit kinder, a little bit gentler. If there is anything that we can do to help those with adversity, we are so blessed to be where we are and be given the blessings we have, it is incumbent upon us to somehow try and turn that and help those who may need a hand up.”

So, you see, the clothes and tunes may have been different, but the heart and compassion of country music still filled the room. 

Brad Paisley at Brad Paisley Alzheimers event
Brad Paisley
Chris Young and Brad at Brad Paisley Alzheimers event
Brad Paisley and Chris Young
Lindsay Ell at Brad Paisley Alzheimers event
Lindsay Ell
Emily West and Chris Young at Brad Paisley Alzheimers event
Emily West and Chris Young
Marcia Gay Harden at Brad Paisley Alzheimers event
Marcia Gay Harden
High Valley at Brad Paisley Alzheimers event
High Valley
Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker at Brad Paisley Alzheimers event
Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker