It’s no secret that Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots throw one of the best parties in Nashville every year, inviting some of the biggest names in music. Back for the fourth time Monday night, Jan. 14, the Million Dollar Show at the Ryman Auditorium featured 3-plus hours of incredible performances from Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Cole Swindell, Jon Pardi, Brad Arnold from 3 Doors Down, Maggie Rose, Rachel Wammack, Bailey Bryan, Adam Hambrick and a slew of surprise guests. Benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the annual event is always full of memorable moments. Here are our top five!
Even with a star-studded lineup, you can always expect a surprise guest or two, or three, or four! We were in for a treat, because the surprises just kept on coming, beginning with Kristian Bush of Sugarland. Joining Bobby Bones, Producer Eddie, Natalie Stovall, Brandon Ray, and the rest of The Raging Idiots, Bush performed an acoustic version of “Baby Girl,” followed by “Stuck Like Glue;” featuring Bones with an epic breakdown of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme. The next surprise came after Bones took center stage in a gold sequin jacket holding the coveted Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball Trophy. By this point, we were all hoping to see some moves, but the entire place was out of their seats and cheering when his partner Sharna Burgess came out to share a dance and reflect on their winning season of DWTS. Lindsay Ell was the next to bring the heat, and many laughs were shared from the very moment Bones asked Eddie, “Do you want to do something awkward? Want to bring out my ex-girlfriend?” Surprising the audience with performances of her hit, “Criminal,” and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” Ell reminded us all why she’s one of Nashville’s best up and comers to pick up a guitar. And finally, with too many chart-toppers to count, Gavin DeGraw was the last performer on deck to surprise a packed Ryman with soulful renditions of “Soldier” and “I Don’t Want To Be.”
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The Rising Talent
There’s no question about it, the Million Dollar Show bill is always impressive. With big names like Luke Bryan and Lady Antebellum, it was pretty much a given that tickets would go fast. What’s also impressive is how Bones always finds room to feature some of the best rising talent in the industry, and the 2019 show was no exception. We wouldn’t be surprised if everyone rushed home to download Bailey Bryan’s “Songbird” after her moving performance. And by now, everyone should be adding Rachel Wammack’s “Damage” to their playlists and Adam Hambrick should be known for not only writing some of this town’s biggest songs, but also having one of its biggest and smoothest voices. The soul Maggie Rose exudes every single time she performs continues to blow us away. The emotion and honesty in her voice during “Pull You Through” filled every corner of the Mother Church.
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The Raging Idiots
From their matching letterman sweaters and hilarious original songs like “Hobby Lobby Bobby” and “Chick-fil-A (…But It’s Sunday),” you can’t deny the hard work that goes into everything The Raging Idiots do. Besides entertaining music of their own that is guaranteed to make you laugh, Bobby Bones and his band put so much time and effort into learning nearly all of the songs that are performed by all of the artists on the Million Dollar Show bill. Talk about doing your homework! A few stand out moments with The Raging Idiots included Brandon Ray taking the lead on Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer,” Producer Eddie’s version of “La Bamba,” Natalie Stovall’s soaring vocals on Prince’s “Purple Rain,” and not to mention the fiddling machine performance she brought to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” However, nothing about this event would be possible without the musical, comic, and entertaining genius of Bobby Bones. We truly have to give it up for the man of the night. Our hat is off to you, Bones. So well done.
Country Music at Its Best
Country music and the incredible songs that set this genre apart really shined a bright light throughout the legendary Ryman Auditorium Monday night. Cole Swindell’s performance of “Dad’s Old Number” tugged at our heartstrings, and Luke Bryan had everyone singing along like one big choir during “Most People Are Good.” Leave it to Jon Pardi to bring the party with “Dirt On My Boots,” and Lady Antebellum always provides the textbook example of great chemistry paired with world class harmonies, especially on “You Look Good.”
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All For An Important Cause
When St. Jude patients Kinlee and Emma helped kick off the show, it was a heartfelt reminder that we were not only in for a night of great music and fun, but that every ticket bought would help kids fighting childhood cancer. Fresh off his Dancing with the Stars win, Bobby Bones has proven to be a champion on the dance floor, as well as one for St. Jude families. Leading the way with millions of dollars already raised over the years, Bones had the privilege of accepting a check from Brad Arnold of 3 Doors Down for $10,000 in the middle of the show. Lady Antebellum dedicated their performance of “American Honey” to all of the St. Jude kids watching in the wings, and the crowd joined in for one of the loudest sing-a-longs of the evening. By the end of the night all of the artists and St. Jude kids came together for a finale performance of “Stand By Me.”
To do your part to help support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the fight against childhood cancer visit stjude.org.