Intentionally or not, a number of country’s bedrock performers — including Faith Hill, Diamond Rio, Trace Adkins and Tracy Lawrence — have all found themselves linked to politics or politicians this week.
For two artists, those connections involve actual campaigning for gubernatorial candidates. The others are tied to honoring people’s lives or accomplishments: Faith and Emmylou Harris will be performing at the White House; Trace and Diamond Rio paid their respects to 11 workers whose deaths are part of the tragic oil spill that has become a political nightmare.
• Diamond Rio visited the Jackson Convention Complex in Mississippi Tuesday to perform three songs during the memorial for the workers who were lost in the April 20 oil-rig explosion that’s pumped a steady stream of pollution into the Gulf of Mexico. The band sang “One More Day,” “I Believe” and “In God We Still Trust.” Trace, who formerly worked on oil rigs, delivered his condolences via video. “It was hard work and it was dangerous work,” he said, according to USA Today, “but nobody, especially today, expects it to end like this.”
• Tracy, who lives in Tennessee, officially endorsed Republican Bill Johnson for Alabama governor on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Tracy has a financial interest in Country Crossing, a Dothan-based project that includes electronic gambling, which has become a major issue in the state. Lorrie Morgan, also involved in Country Crossing, appeared Monday in a Birmingham fundraiser for Democratic candidate Ron Sparks.
• Faith and Emmylou perform June 2 in the White House’s East Room, the same location in which Brad Paisley played “Welcome To The Future” for President Barack Obama last July. The occasion this time is a taping for the PBS series “In Performance At The White House,” as Paul McCartney receives the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Others taking part in the special, which airs July 28, include Stevie Wonder, Jerry Seinfeld, Jack White, Elvis Costello, Herbie Hancock, Dave Grohl, Corinne Bailey Rae and the Jonas Brothers.