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Dear John: We All Come Together for John Berry

The Country Music community is rallying in support of fellow Grammy winning artist, John Berry, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for throat cancer discovered this past January. A concert and silent auction will take place at City Winery Nashville in partnership with Music Health Alliance on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019, to benefit Berry and his family in his recovery. The event boasts an impressive roster of performers, speaking to how well loved a man John Berry is, especially since the event sold out!

The line up for the evening includes Anita Cochran, Billy Dean, Bryan White, Chris Kulick WSM, Chuck Jones, Clint Black, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Darryl Worley, Exile, Heidi Newfield, James Wesley, Jeannie Seely w/ Tim Atwood, Jimmy Fortune, Lee Roy Parnell w/Lisa Stewart, Mark Wills, Mike Farris, Oak Ridge Boys, Radney Foster, Restless Heart, Sean Berry, Shenandoah, Suzy Bogguss, T. Graham Brown, Tim Rushlow, Trace Adkins, Tracy Lawrence, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, along with special guests and surprises!

We had the opportunity to chat with several of the performers, asking them why they wanted to participate, what Music Health Alliance means to them, and what they’d say to John given the chance. We received so many loving comments and words of encouragement, we want to share them directly with Berry and his family right here in the form of short letters. We could have turned this into a story, but sometimes it is best to let the folks we represent speak straight from their hearts. These words of love and encouragement need no editing, and it is our greatest wish through this article that Berry and his entire family feel the love and support that is surrounding them through this process!

“I love John and his family. I just really wanted to do my part to help. Dear John, God loves us all but he especially needs good people like John Berry. We believe he’ll show up in this situation or maybe he already has in several ways. John will be fine and he’ll give the glory to the great physician.” – Darryl Worley

“I’m so grateful that the good people of MHA are a non-profit organization, creating the best solutions or patients, which is not motivated by anything except that patient’s personal needs. Those fighting cancer, as well as their caretakers, need all the positive energy possible. My hope is that John will feel the love from this community and it will do great things to help in his healing process. Dear John, I hope this night of music is something you can reflect on, giving you strength as you fight! Know that you are loved!” – Lisa Stewart

Anita Cochran

“I myself am still recovering from a 1.5 year battle with triple positive breast cancer and I know what it’s like to not be able to work during my treatment.  The stress level of not being able to work while undergoing treatment is not healthy for your body as it’s trying to heal.  I was fortunate enough to have help from the Nashville music community as well so for me I’m just paying it forward to help a fellow friend/artist in a time of need. Music Health Alliance is a wonderful program and has helped me in many ways since my breast cancer diagnosis.  They have helped me with hospital bills, finances and health insurance during my treatment and recovery.  God bless each and everyone for all they do for music community.  Dear John, I love you and pray that your recovery is quick and that you can get back to work soon so people can hear your wonderful voice again!!!” –Anita Cochran

“John Berry is a deep-souled individual who cares about every musician he sees, myself included. He bring a heart as big as his voice to his music. That’s a rare thing. Dear John, We love you. You and your family are in my prayers.” – Radney Foster

“I have always loved being a part of giving, always have, always will. It is in my DNA to be aware and know that someone, somewhere, is in a worse place than me. I am humbled to be a part of things that are BIG picture, meaning bigger than me by a long shot. Life is precious, we need to always be there when we can for all. And you know, the musicians and entertainers of this world are sadly forgotten a lot of times. MHA is there to help those who need it most. We spend a lifetime bringing joy to those who need it in life and are sometimes left falling through the cracks we try to prevent. That is why MHA is important and matters. Dear John, I have always loved you, your family, music and legacy. I am here to help when needed because you are like me and every other artist who lives this life just like us. When we need a hand to deal with a situation, we deal with it as one. I am sure they would all do the same for me, should I need ever it. – Tim Rushlow

Heidi Newfield

“I’m thrilled to be a small part of helping my friend John Berry. He’s one of the most centered, kind, and talented people I know, so it’s an honor to show my support as he heals from his treatment in the best possible way…through music, of course.  Music Health Alliance has helped me personally, and so many of my peers, in a multitude of ways. Working together with those of us in the music business to get the best healthcare possible,  receive excellent preventative care and tests so, God forbid, any of us get bad news, we can detect it early and stand a greater chance of beating it…and for those who have had to fight the fight, win or lose, these wonderful people have aided in making that fight as strong and yet bearable as possible. I swear they are angels over there!! Dear John, you, your family, and your close friends are so strongly rooted in your faith and supporting one another as a team, it’s encouraging just to see how you’ve handled this diagnosis with grace and strength. My motto has always been to stay optimistic, no matter what. We have two choices when we wake up every day. Be positive or be negative even in the worst of circumstances. I choose the former…it’s never let me down.” – Heidi Newfield

“I don’t know anyone that hasn’t been effected by cancer in some way. Knowing that friends and family have your back is an important factor in fighting this disease. Dear John, on this night, your friends and musical family will come together to show you and the world that we have your back and you are not fighting this alone.” – Travis Tritt

Joe Bonsall

“We [The Oak Ridge Boys] have known John for a long time and have so much respect for the man and his talent. It was easy to say ‘yes’ to his manager, Brian Smith, when he called on us. Brian is also a good friend. Once we saw that the date was available, of course, we wanted to take part. We have been tweeting support for John since we found out about the cancer and many folks out there are praying for him. We are honored to be a part of this great event for John Berry. Bad health can hit any of us at any time. God has sure been good to The Oak Ridge Boys and our health and blessings are never taken for granted. None of us are new kids on the block these days, so it is awesome to know that there is a support group like Music Health Alliance to provide whatever help might be needed when a musician has to face hard times, such as John is facing right now. Our thanks to MHA, Tatum, and Sheila for their vision and for making a difference. Their mission statement is worth mentioning … Music Health Alliance’s mission is to Heal the Music by providing access to healthcare through services that PROTECT, DIRECT & CONNECT music professionals with medical and financial solutions.Dear John is a man of faith, as we are, and he knows that Jesus is the answer. We must have faith in Him at ALL times, especially at a time like this. Trust in Him, John and family. He is capable. Lean upon Him. It is our prayer that John will stand strong in his faith right now and, if it be God’s will, this challenge will pass, and John will be healed.” – Joe Bonsall, The Oak Ridge Boys

“I have known John’s music for a while and I wanted to help a fellow musician, artist in need, and the Music Health Alliance means to me that there is help, knowledge, support and guidance for the Nashville Music Community to help them get through tough times. Dear John, There has always been a scripture that stands out and has helped me in times of  need and comfort that says…. 

He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.  Job 8:21″ – James Wesley

Suzy Bogguss

John has been a friend and touring partner off and on since 1995. I know he would be there for me and I am very happy to help however I can. Music Health Alliance has helped several close friends through critical health issues. As musicians we automatically make up a community and even if we don’t know each individual personally we feel compassion for each other through the shared love for our craft. Dear John and Robin Berry, you have always been a beautiful driving force. Your kids are just as fine as their folks. So sorry you guys are presented with this illness. If there is a family strong enough to beat it, it is surely yours. Lots of love from Doug, Ben and me.” – Suzy Bogguss

“I first got to know John when we wrote together and he recorded several of my songs in the early 90s. I’ve always known him and Robin to be exceptional, real, and down to earth folks. I consider it a privilege to be able to contribute in any way I can. In terms of Music Health Alliance, any organization that devotes time, energy, and funds to assisting musicians and those in the industry is a friend of mine.  Dear John, Just know that a lot of people love you and are pulling with you. If there’s anything else I can do, don’t hesitate to ask! – Chuck Jones, Songwriter of John Berry’s “We All Come Together”

Dear John, Sooner or later life will turn on a dime for all of us.  It is a testament to a man’s character how many people will be there to help him maneuver his new course.  I’m honored to give back to a man who has given so much to so many.” – Tim Atwood

Dear John, We wish you the best for a full recovery. Bev keeps us updated on how you’re feeling, your challenges and your steps forward, and your unwavering faith in God. We are proud to be in this industry with you, we are honored to share these words from colleagues and friends, and we cannot wait to see you on stage again. All of our love and best wishes that you keep recovering and moving forward! – Lula 1892

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