Justin Moore knows his initial hesitation to visit St. Jude doesn’t make him look real good, but his family’s involvement today underscores the mission.
The “With a Woman You Love” singer has supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for more than a decade, including two straight Justin Moore St. Jude Golf Classics in the spring. Last year, the event raised over $400,000, and he’ll look for as much or more this April.
About 12 years ago, Moore was called away from home to visit St. Jude for the first time — it’s a rite of passage of sorts for new country artists. At the time his oldest daughter Ella (now 13 years old) was about 1, and she had a nasty cold.
“I remember being upset that I had to go do something for work because my daughter was sick,” he tells Taste of Country. “(I’m) thinking, ‘Man, this is so unfair.'”
Like so many people, he imagined a sad day around sick kids, but when he got there, he found patients and parents smiling, laughing, playing and running around. It was a joyful, fulfilling experience that planted a seed for years of involvement to come. St. Jude is a place of hope.
“At that moment I thought, ‘Man, I am a complete butthole,'” Moore admits.
Now with four kids, the country star — whose You, Me and Whiskey Tour with Priscilla Block began on Thursday night — knows he’s setting an example. The older children are especially aware of the St. Jude mission.
“Because we’ve talked to them about it, we’ve started including them,” he says. “We even give them little jobs to do. It’s not only me, it’s my wife as well — whether it be the St. Jude thing that we do, which she’s on the board of, or whether it be the Boys & Girls Club thing that we do, she’s heavily involved.”
“You, Me and Whiskey” is Moore’s current single, and it’s a collaboration with Block, an artist he first met playing a benefit for St. Jude one year ago. Talking to ToC, he recalled being the new guy in a guitar pull — a concert where songwriters take turns playing songs, one at a time — and thinking he was way out of his element.
That wasn’t true for Block.
“She completely stole the show,” he says. “I was blown away, personally … and I told her that night, I was like, ‘Look, if there is anything I can ever do for you, I don’t know what that would be, but I’d be happy to help in any way I can, because I’m a fan.'”
Several months later “You, Me and Whiskey” came across his speakers, and he not only recognized it as a duet, but one that’d be the perfect opportunity for him to work with Block.
A year later, they have a Top 40 single and a tour together, and St. Jude to thank.
Every year, Taste of Country joins Townsquare Media radio stations nationwide for their Country Cares radiothons. The country music community has been the single biggest supporter of St. Jude through the years, with TSM raising more than $15 million in nine years.
Please consider joining Taste of Country and dozens of country stars in becoming a Partner in Hope. It’s a $19 a month commitment that truly changes lives.
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