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COUNTRY GOES ICE COLD FOR ALS RESEARCH
It seems like just a few months ago that the Harlem Shake fad spurred thousands of otherwise right-thinking people, including members of the CMA staff, to stand motionless, suddenly act like loonies and then post it all on online.
Well, now many of these same folks are pouring buckets of ice water over their heads and recording the moment as well for posterity. But this time, the bizarre behavior has a purpose, which is to raise awareness and money for research into stopping ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Since early August, the Ice Bucket Challenge has spread virally from the initial video by Beverly, Mass., resident Pete Frates to thousands of participants. The rules stipulate that each person who takes part gets to dare three others to get doused as well within 24 hours. Those who don’t are requested to donate $100 to the ALS Association. As of Aug. 20, this campaign has raised more than $31.5 million, as compared with $1.9 million at this time in 2013.
Along with everyday citizens, lots of celebrities have taken the plunge, so to speak. Ben Affleck, Justin Bieber, Kobe Bryant, President George W. Bush, Simon Cowell, Miley Cyrus, Tom Cruise, Governor Chris Christie, Jimmy Fallon, James Franco, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, Hugh Jackman, LeBron James, Ethel Kennedy, Danica Patrick, Bob Schieffer, Shakira, William Shatner, Britney Spears, Martha Stewart, Justin Timberlake, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg – no doubt the list is lengthening even as you read.
Being notoriously generous toward good causes, Country artists are well represented among this company, though they accept the challenge in a variety of ways.
Some of the more heroic pour the frigid liquid over themselves, including Lee Brice …
and Luke Bryan:
Reba endured the experience with relative calm:
Kimberly Perry was a bit more animated:
Keith Urban brought a friend along for the ride:
So did Ronnie Dunn:
Music industry executives showed they too are made of steely stuff, including Big Machine Label Group President and CEO Scott Borchetta:
Some find security by standing or sitting near their tour bus, such as Darius Rucker …
… and Little Big Town:
Several couples got into the action. Faith Hill and Tim McGraw took turns:
So did Rodney Atkins and Rose Falcon:
Others brought good friends along for support, including Taylor Swift and model Jaime King, who got a few other onlookers into the act as well:
Ditto for Miranda Lambert and Thomas Rhett …
… and Jennifer Nettles with Brandy Clark:
Carson Daly and Adam Levine of “The Voice” joined up with Team Blake:
Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum seemed to enjoy assisting Charles Kelley meet his Challenge:
Several artists decided the best way to accept their Challenge was to do it onstage. That’s what Rascal Flatts did in San Diego …
… and Florida Georgia Line:
Hunter Hayes persuaded a number of his fans to share in the experience:
A few purported to be surprised – or maybe they actually were. Take Gloriana:
Then there was Brett Eldredge, for whom the Challenge was a gift that kept on giving, no matter how many times he tried to get away:
Shovel trucks appealed to artists with a sense of the spectacular, including Carrie Underwood and husband Mike Fisher:
Eric Church was thinking along the same lines:
For Bucky Covington, a fire truck provided a better platform:
But it took Zac Brown Band to combine the two trucks in a truly overwhelming exhibition:
You can join the fun too, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube; use #IceBucketChallenge.