On Monday evening (April 25), several Country music artists as well as members of the music industry and the local community gathered at Music City’s Loews Vanderbilt Hotel for the 17th Annual T.J. Martell Best Cellars Dinner. The black-tie event featured a four course dinner prepared by world class chefs matched with top vintage wines.
For Young, who has been a longtime support of the T.J. Martell Foundation, a national organization founded by the music industry, whose mission is to fund innovative leukemia, cancer and AIDS research at flagship hospitals in the United States, getting involved with the organization was a “real obvious thing.”
“I’m not involved in too many things because I really want to support whatever I’m trying to do,” the “Think Of You” singer told Sounds Like Nashville and other media prior to the event. “Literally everything that the T.J. Martell Foundation stands for and does is just so incredible.”
“That’s really one of the best parts of any of our jobs,” he added. “Whether you’re behind the scenes of the music industry, or you’re at the forefront as an artist, producer, or songwriter, is really being able to go, ‘Hey, this is a really great cause, this is something we should show attention to and raise money for.’”
Young said he enjoyed the opportunity to get “dressed up in the middle of the week” and spend time with some of his friends, but what he was really looking forward to was sipping on some good vino.
“I’ve kind of become a closet wine snob,” he admitted. “I love reds, really heavy reds like a lot of cabs, some of the merlots, and every now and then a pinot.”
While Ballard echoed Young’s sentiments about supporting the T.J. Martell Foundation and his friends, like his record label president and CEO John Esposito, who was event co-chairman, he does not consider himself a wine connoisseur by any means.
“I don’t know much about it. I didn’t have a lot of money when I was in college, so I drank a lot of cheap stuff,” he said with a laugh. “My palate is not refined at all. I know if I like it, and I can tell if it’s good or tasty, but I am a novice when it comes to the knowledge about it. “
Last night’s event brought in more than $360,000.
The T.J. Martell Foundation hosts Best Cellars Dinners in New York, Nashville, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, and Dallas. The special gourmet food and wine experiences have raised more than $2 million for the leaders in medical research. To learn more about the T.J. Martell Foundation, please go to tjmartell.org.