The night got underway with Wiseman, Davidson and Gill playing a writers round setting on the stage of the Mother Church of the Grand Ole Opry. Tompkins then came out to perform songs he has penned for many of country music’s superstars, which was followed by Clawson’s set.
Akins joined in on the fun with a performance of ‘I Don’t Want This Night to End,’ a song he co-wrote with Davidson and their third Peach Picker member Ben Hayslip. When he finished, fans weren’t ready to say goodbye to Akins just yet, so the singer-songwriter performed a snippet of his multi-week No. 1 smash for Blake Shelton, ‘Honey Bee,’ as well as his own hit single from the 90s, ‘That Ain’t My Truck.’
New country duo Florida Georgia Line kept the entertainment rolling right along with an handful of songs from their newly-released EP, including their current single, ‘Cruise.’ For Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, the performance was special for many reasons, including taking the stage of the Ryman for the very first time in their career.
“We have never played the Ryman, so we’re pretty excited,” Hubbard told Taste of Country prior to taking the stage. “We got to walk around and look at the walls of all the people who have played here. It’s like, ‘Whoa!’ It’s pretty awesome. It’s an honor to be here, for sure. Who would have ever thought it would be happening. It’s going to be a great night for sure! We’re excited.”
“Any time we can be involved in our community and raise awareness for people who need food and are hungry, we want to be a part of it,” Kelley added. “We jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this. We were reading some of the stats earlier, and it’s crazy that one in four children and one in six adults struggle with [starvation]. That’s just crazy to me. So anything we can do to be a part of helping those folks out by raising awareness and money for a great cause, we’re all about. Plus we get to play the Ryman with Craig Wiseman and all these other guys on the lineup. It’s just going to be a great night all the way around.”
Owen took the stage for the night’s final performance which included his recent chart-topping single, ‘Alone With You,’ and his first No. 1 hit, ‘Barefoot Blue Jean Night.’ The lakeside party anthem drew all of the celebrity attendees back to the stage to sing the background vocals on the feel-good summertime song.
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