Jake Owen Honored With St. Jude Angels Among Us Award
There's no prize or trophy in Jake Owen's life more special than the St. Jude Angels Among Us Award, which the singer was honored with during the 30th annual Country Cares event in Memphis on Saturday night (Jan. 26). His 13 years of consistent contributions to St. Jude were recognized in front of about 1,000 members of the country music community.
Owen spoke candidly about being urged to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by his manager, who once worked with Randy Owen. He just picked up the mission, as so many in country music have done since 1989. More than $800 million has been raised through St. Jude Country Cares radiothons and events.
"I’ve always believed that country music is songs for the family, songs for the people. Common folk," he said, prior to accepting. "And I believe that it just goes hand in hand with the mission for St. Jude, as far as lending a helping hand. I think you hear those types of sentiments in a lot of country songs. I think they’re just relatable."
Owen is a familiar face at the hospital and during events across the country, like his own Hometown Benefit in Vero Beach, Fla. and the annual Darius and Friends show in Nashville.
"I feel like that’s our duty as a country music entertainer," he says. "It’s not just singing songs for people and entertaining. It’s what we do with the platform that we’ve so luckily been given ... How do you help people? How do you give back? I know that by being an example and being a leader in that, hopefully others will follow. That’s what I was taught by guys like Randy and so many others that have come before me."
After accepting the award, the "Down To the Honkytonk" singer joined Randy Owen, Clint Black and Michael Ray for the annual songwriter's night, a loose guitar pull that traditionally closes Country Cares weekend. He performed his single, plus a brand-new song called "I Was Made for You" and then "Journey of Your Life."
Jake Owen and Michael Ray Brought Randy Owen to Tears
Previous recipients of the Angels Among Us Award include Brad Paisley, John Rich, former ALSAC Chief Operating Officer David McKee (posthumously), St. Jude Country Cares Advisory Board member, Sharon Eaves (posthumously) and Darius Rucker.
On Feb. 7-8, Taste of Country will assist more than a dozen country radio stations in raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with a webathon/radiothon. Nearly $7 million has been raised during the previous five joint efforts, with much more raised from other TSM stations later in the year. If you'd like to donate, check here for various options.
Country Artists at St. Jude Through the Years