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The Grand Ole Opry showed its support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month last night (Oct. 22) by turning its iconic backdrop pink for the annual Opry Goes Pink event presented in conjunction with Women Rock for the Cure.
LeAnn Rimes had the honor of flipping the switch to pink before opening the show with her supercharged song “Spitfire.” She was part of a performance lineup that included Amy Grant, Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan, Natalie Grant, Mandisa and others. Women Rock for the Cure also received $5 from every ticket sold.
For LeAnn, her participation was a way to honor a friend who survived the disease. “To be a part of this for her makes me really, really happy,” she explained. “And Eddie, my husband, his mom had breast cancer. It’s like that six degrees of separation thing: You start to realize that everybody’s been affected by it in some way.”
“Dos Divas”—Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan—dressed in head-to-toe pink, hoped to offer some comfort to audience members and felt it was important they be involved. “It’s an epidemic and it’s ongoing,” said Pam. “We’ve made some strides but we’ve got a long way to go.”
“We’ve both been affected by this disease: personally and family and friends,” added Lorrie. “It doesn’t just affect one person. It snowballs. We’re here to show our support and encourage people to find a cure.”
American Idol alum and Christian artist Mandisa was making her Opry debut and performing in honor of a close friend currently battling breast cancer. “[She] represents one of millions of people who are fighting this disease,” she began, “so I love that we can come together and find a cure for it.” Mandisa’s inspirational new video for “Overcomer” features breast cancer survivor and Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts.
Fellow Christian singer Natalie Grant was also making her first appearance on the Opry, right as she celebrated the release of her album Hurricane. “I’ve lived in nashville for 15 years and this is my Opry debut, so it’s a huge night for me in that way,” she said. “To have that debut be on a night like this where we’re celebrating the hope that we’ll find a cure in our lifetime to this horrible cancer—it’s so beautiful to share the stage with iconic women, all of whom realize music is not just about a song, it’s like a medicine. It’s a night of healing.”
LeAnn also noted the importance of awareness in battling the disease. “We’re a group of women. We could possibly all go through this at some point,” she said. “It’s the support that’s so important, especially for young women. You usually have a mammogram when you’re 40 and now I’m 31 and I’m thinking, ‘Well, should I?’”
Ultimately, LeAnn summed up the importance of Opry Goes Pink and the life-saving work being done by Women Rock for the Cure. “Tonight’s really not only about honoring people who have passed away and supporting people that are going through it, but also prevention—that’s really important.”