Zac Brown Thanks Wife, Bandmates While Receiving Artist Humanitarian Award
Zac Brown is the 2017 recipient of the Country Radio Broadcasters' Artist Humanitarian Award, in honor of his numerous charitable efforts. The Zac Brown Band frontman was presented the honor by 2016's recipient, Keith Urban, on Wednesday (Feb. 22), the first day of the 2017 Country Radio Seminar.
"The first time that I really properly met Zac, he was going to sing on a song with me at this awards show, and I had to pick him up from his studio and drive him over to where we were rehearsing," Urban recalled from stage. "So Zac and I are in my truck, and we're driving over, getting a lot of time to talk. The one thing he really wanted to ask me about was about balancing family and touring -- how do you do it, how do you go about it? The whole conversation over there was talking about that. That really touched me, from another artist."
Urban shared that he has spent time on Brown's tour bus, and was impressed by the "home environment" the singer fosters -- but it was a more recent incident that solidified for Urban how big Brown's heart is.
"When the fires went through Gatlinburg, Zac was the first guy to reach out to me and ask for support. He was there rallying everybody to help others. And to me, that speaks volumes about Zac himself as a person," Urban said. "His heart is huge. And between family, cooking and community, those things represent so much of who he is and what country music is."
Following a brief video detailing Brown's numerous altruistic efforts, including his Camp Southern Ground, Brown accepted his award.
"We named our second album You Get What You Give, and that's kind of my mantra that I live by every day," Brown said. "I owe a lot to the world. I've always felt a hand guiding me ... I can't take credit for what is happening down here. I'm open to it, and I'm very excited to be able to continue to do that, and to bring people together.
"The success of the Zac Brown Band is a gift that allows me to give back as much as I've received, and it's helped build a legacy of giving that will last way beyond my lifetime," Brown added. "So thank you. It's a tremendous honor to receive the 2017 Artist Humanitarian Award."
During his speech, Brown acknowledged his wife Shelly, and brought his band to the stage at the conclusion of his brief remarks.
"I'm so blessed," Brown maintained. "So many times we've been at a crossroads and I didn't know what we were going to do. At times when the label stuff fell apart at first, we had no money left; we had nothing left. [The band] looked at me and said, 'What are we going to do?'
"We've been blessed enough to have the rise that we've had, and continue that down the road," Brown continued, "but I couldn't have done it without these guys behind me."
Previous recipients of the CRB Artist Humanitarian Award include Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and Toby Keith. The Zac Brown Band's next album, Welcome Home, is scheduled for a May 12 release; its debut single, “My Old Man,” is available for download on iTunes.
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