Kayla Schoen – Charlie Daniels Billionaire Tribute
Hazel Daniels, Doug Gray of The Marshall Tucker Band, and Charlie Daniels Jr. celebrate the Pandora Billionaire Award bestowed on the late Charlie Daniels during the 2021 Volunteer Jam at Nashville
Charlie Daniels posthumously received Pandora’s Billionaire Award, commemorating 1 billion streams on the national music platform, during the 2021 Volunteer Jam: A Musical Salute To Charlie Daniels concert at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on August 18.
The Marshall Tucker Band
, longtime friends of The Charlie Daniels Band
, made the presentation. During the band’s set, lead singer Doug Gray called Daniel’s wife Hazel and son Charlie Daniels Jr. to the stage and surprised them with the special plaque from Pandora.
“Let’s cry together,” Gray told Hazel and Daniels Jr., who were visibly emotional.
“This special award and the entire night brought tears to my eyes, to see how much his fans loved him, because he loved them, too,” said Hazel, who was married to the country superstar for almost 56 years before he died July 6, 2020. “It was such an honor. I wish everyone had fans as loyal as Charlie’s.”
Daniels Jr. was also clearly thrilled about the honor for his legendary father.
“In what was an exciting, uplifting and emotional night, one of the highlights of this year’s Volunteer Jam for me was the presentation of the Pandora Billionaire Award,” he says. “For an artist whose main success was when record sales were measured by gold and platinum albums and decades before the advent of streaming to reach that milestone, this is a real testament to dad’s legacy and to his millions of fans who continue to listen to his music. He would be honored and humbled.”
Thousands of fans packed the arena to pay tribute to Daniels at the annual Volunteer Jam. The evening included performances by the Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Ricky Skaggs, Larry, Steve & Rudy: The Gatlin Brothers, Randy Travis (w/ James Dupré), Travis Tritt, Chris Young, Big & Rich, Lorrie Morgan, The Isaacs, Scooter Brown Band, 38 Special, Cedric Burnside, Jenny Tolman, Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, Exile, Anthony Castagna, The Allman Betts Band, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Travis Denning, Johnny Lee, Rhett Akins, The SteelDrivers, Pure Prairie League and comedian Dusty Slay. SiriusXM’s Storme Warren hosted. Sixwire was the backing band.
The 2020 concert was postponed twice because of the COVID-19 pandemic, making the 2021 Volunteer Jam the first to take place since its founder’s passing. In addition, the state of Tennessee declared August 18 as “Charlie Daniels Day.”
The 2021 Volunteer Jam: A Musical Salute to Charlie Daniels was produced by Outback Presents in association with David Corlew and Associates and Conway Entertainment Group, and annually raises money for military veterans and other causes including The Journey Home Project he founded in 2014 with his manager, David Corlew.
Prior to the just-concluded Volunteer Jam, the event has sold 98,631 tickets and grossed more than $2.9 million across the 22 shows that took place prior to the Aug. 18 event.
A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame and member of the Grand Ole Opry, and winner of Dove, CMA and many other awards, Daniels rose to fame in the 1970s and for many years was host of the Volunteer Jam concert in support of military and other causes, including The Journey Home Project that he founded in 2014 with his manager, David Corlew.
Daniels was a musical polymath, a multi-instrumentalist who spanned genres from rock, country, and gospel, nearly single-handedly creating Southern Rock, and performed with artists from Bob Dylan to Ringo Starr to Jimi Hendrix and Leonard Cohen. His first hits, 1973’s “Uneasy Rider” and 1979’s “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,” established Daniels as a recording star in his own right, in addition to his bona fides as an in-demand session artist.
Daniels helped to shine the spotlight on the many causes that were close to his heart. He was a staunch supporter of the military and gave his time and talent to numerous charitable organizations, including The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project, which he founded in 2014 with his manager, David Corlew, to help veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Daniels passed away on July 6, 2020. He was 83.