After stepping off-stage with his band back in March, Brad Paisley was only slightly aware of what 2020 would have in store for the world.
For his part in “ABC”‘s “The Year: 2020” special, the country music superstar shared how his fear of the novel coronavirus transpired less into a fight against the virus itself, but more so the aftereffects of the economic devastation caused by virus-related lock downs.
Once he saw residents of his home city of Nashville, Tennessee battling food insecurity more than ever, he knew it was time to spring to action.
Seeing Americans Struggle
“It was hard to get through,” Paisley told the network about his emotions during that final concert back in March. “[It] got emotional for me when we said goodnight that night, and here it is, December, and we haven’t done anything like that [show].”
As time passed from that final show, the singer and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, were heartbroken seeing the struggles average Americans faced while COVID-19 not only ravaged citizens medically, but financially too.
Due to those feelings, the couple decided their 2020 would be spent combating food insecurity in the greater-Nashville area.
Fighting Food Insecurity
In March, the couple opened “The Store,” a free, year-round grocery store for needy families. According to their website, customers referred by an agent and vetted individuals will not have to pay for any food they need from the store.
That wasn’t the end of their charitable work fighting hunger in Tennessee, as the duo went on in September to make another big and much-needed donation to countless local food banks right as the holiday season began and donations were needed most.
Donations On Donations
Paisley and his wife gave one million meals to food banks in 16 major cities, working with their food brand and various nonprofits to ensure the massive delivery of food was accomplished ahead-of and into the holiday season.
On his efforts, Paisley told the network candidly that, “When we’re delivering food or doing something that’s helping, I feel less helpless. For me, it was all about trying to find something that really felt like we were going to get through this.”
Still All About The Music
His charitable work aside, Paisley is advocating for the importance of music and togetherness amidst such difficult circumstances.
“The importance of music is glaringly obvious in … times of crisis,” he explained, referencing that the most difficult thing him and his musical peers have had to overcome in 2020 is a lack of live performances and intimate interactions with fans.
“I hope as a musician that we all sort of rise out of this and create music that helps us through the end of this thing.”