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City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game Hits a Home Run in It’s 26th Year

Getty Images for City Of Hope

Getty Images for City Of Hope

It was a homerun for the 26th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game, which saw more than 30 music and sports stars step up to the plate to strike out cancer at First Tennessee Park in Nashville. Team iHeart Country and Team Opry ended in a tie game with a final score of 18 to 18.

Country Music icon Trisha Yearwood led with the national anthem before Lauren Alaina, Craig Wayne Boyd, Danielle Bradbery, The Bobby Bones Show, Bucky Covington, Jessie James Decker, Charles Esten, Nick Fradiani, Vince Gill, Mickey Guyton, Jonathan Jackson, Chris Lane, LOCASH, Scotty McCreery, A Thousand Horses, Tristan McIntosh, Bret Michaels, David Nail, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Jamie Lynn Spears, Mark Wills, Brett Young and former Major League Baseball pitcher Barry Zito took to the field to strike out cancer. The Crook and Chase Countdown’s Lorianne Crook and WSM’s Bill Cody emceed and offered play-by-plays for the thousands of fans in attendance.

The fan favorite game didn’t disappoint, as the bats came alive for both teams throughout the high scoring game.  Memorable moments on the field included multiple inside the park homeruns, double plays, and some crazy antics leading to tying the score up at 18 in the final inning.

The City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game, a 26-year tradition during CMA Music Festival, celebrated its first quarter century in Nashville as it honored the game’s founder, music industry veteran Bruce Hinton. The “Champion of Hope Award” was presented to Hinton by President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, Scott Borchetta, for his significant contributions to the event over its quarter century history.

While neither team can walk away with bragging rights this year, it is the patients at City of Hope who are the real winners with more than $200,000 raised for cancer research.

Thousands of fans packed the ballpark to catch the action and antics on the field. Before the first pitch was thrown, the crowds cheered wildly as 8-year old City of Hope patient Aaron Yniguez, who received lifesaving treatment for acute myeloid leukemia more than three years ago at City of Hope, and his genetically matched, life-saving stem cell donor Yolanda Nava, a Southwest® Airlines Employee from Arlington, Texas, traveled to meet on the pitcher’s mound for the very first time.

Bone marrow transplants offer a second chance for people with life-threatening blood cancers and other hematologic malignancies. Since 1976, more than 13,000 patients from virtually every state and dozens of countries have undergone bone marrow, cord blood or stem cell transplants at City of Hope. Support from the Nashville community and its country music artists directly benefit City of Hope’s mission to find cures for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

Those unable to attend the game can still support City of Hope. A variety of unique merchandise including game-worn jerseys signed by the players, and experiences including meet-and-greets with the hottest artists, will be available for bid at The proceeds will benefit City of Hope’s mission to eradicate cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

CMA Fest Continues to Grow with Gildan Broadway Stage Lineup

cma fest 2016

CMA Music Festival is proving to be the biggest summer concert destination for Country Music fans with the announcement of performers on the Gildan Broadway Stage at Hard Rock Cafe.

Located at the corner of Broadway and First Avenue in downtown Nashville, the Gildan Broadway Stage will operate Thursday-Sunday, June 9-12 from 10:45 AM until approximately 4:30 PM/CT and features some of Country Music’s most exciting new faces along with familiar Festival favorites. The daily concerts are free and open to the public.

“We take great pride in CMA Music Festival being a place where fans can discover a new favorite act,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Nearly a dozen artists are making their Festival performance debut on the Gildan Broadway Stage, making it a great spot to hear something fresh.”

Performing on the Gildan Broadway Stage are Sammy Arriaga, Ryan Beaver, Craig Wayne Boyd, Courtney Cole, Ruthie Collins, Adam Craig, Jacob Davis, Cale Dodds, Ben Gallaher, Haley Georgia, Ryan Griffin, Levi Hummon, Brett Kissel, Jon Langston, Brandon Lay, Lucy Angel, MamaDear, Walker McGuire, Carly Pearce, Sister C, Cole Taylor, The Railers, Walker County, Waterloo Revival, and Carter Winter (artists and schedule subject to change).

Also performing on the Gildan Broadway Stage and making their Festival performance debuts are Benton Blount, Fort Defiance, Olivia Lane, Levon, Steve Moakler, Radio Romance, Jordan Rager, Runaway June, Rae Solomon, The Last Bandoleros, and Morgan Wallen.

Also making her Festival debut is Third Man Records’ Margo Price, who has been added to The Park Stage in Walk of Fame Park.

This year’s app is now available in the App store for iPhone and Android and includes features that allow fans to create individual concert schedules and be the first to know which of their favorite stars will be appearing on the free stages throughout the Festival.

For the second year, fans will be able to purchase a four-day pass to the Fan Fair X that includes a general admission ticket to the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum that is good for use any day in 2016. The package deal is on sale now through Friday, June 10 and costs $39.95. The combination Fan Fair X/Country Music Hall of Fame tickets are available via the Country Music Hall of Fame website,, and will also be sold at their box office during the week of CMA Music Festival.

Funds generated through CMA Music Festival ticket sales for the Nightly Concerts at Nissan Stadium and Fan Fair X benefit music education. Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $13.6 million to support sustainable music education initiatives across the country on behalf of the artists who participate in the event for free.

For upcoming announcements and all other info stay connected with CMA on,,,, and sign up for CMA Country Connection, CMA’s e-newsletter. Fans can also download the 2016 CMA Music Festival mobile app for iPhone  or Android to view the latest artist lineups and to plan their Festival experience.


Craig Wayne Boyd Set To Headline 5th Annual Southern Bancorp St Jude Hope Concert


Craig Wayne Boyd, winner of the 2014 season of NBC’s The Voice, will highlight The Southern Bancorp 5th Annual Hope Concert for St. Jude, presented by Mississippi County Electric Cooperative, on February 26, 2016, inside the Holidome at the Holiday Inn in Blytheville.

Doors open at 7 p.m. with appetizers served throughout the evening. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with CJ Wilder and David Adam Byrnes.

This year’s show will include our Celebrity Auction, with items signed by some of the biggest names in country music. Two of the items up for auction include guitars signed by stars like Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean, Sam Hunt and more! Sammy Williams is the auctioneer.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door the night of the show, and are available at the Thunder Country Studios at 125 South 2nd Street in Blytheville. Tables are also available for $200. You must be at least 21 years old for this show.

Craig Wayne Boyd Welcomes a New Baby Girl

Craig & Dakota

Season 7 winner of The Voice Craig Wayne Boyd officially announced the birth of his daughter, Dakota Lynne.  Dakota was born 5.3lbs and 17.5 inches at 5:37pm on December 31st in Nashville, TN. Both Taylor and Dakota are both doing well.

“It was the best birthday present I could have ever received,” said Craig. “We are in love already and I am so grateful for our growing family. Dakota is beautiful just like her mom.”

Craig and fiancée Taylor have been together since December of 2014 and got engaged on the tour bus after Craig’s performance at the Oak Ridge Boys Theater in Branson, MO on June 13th, 2015.

Since winning The Voice in December of 2014, Craig has been touring non-stop by first opening up for Rascal Flatts during their Vegas Riot! nine-show residency at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas before continuing on his headlining West Bound and Down Tour. Craig has also been writing and recording a new album which is set to be released early this year, which includes his new single “I’m Still Here” and “Baby Doll”. Craig wrote “I’m Still Here” during his last week on The Voice as he became one of the finalists and speaks to his whole journey both on the show and in the music industry up to that point.

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