SINGING IN THE RAIN

Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and actor Billy Bob Thornton brave the elements for a worthy cause.

"Only country music fans would do something like this!" declared Faith Hill to a crowd enduring unseasonable cold, wind and rain to see her, hubby Tim McGraw and actor Billy Bob Thornton perform at special concert in Austin, Texas.

The bad weather may have dampened the grounds at Auditorium Shores, but not the fans' spirits. The throng roared when Tim launched into a set heavy of his hits; he also debuted two songs from his new album, set for release late summer. While inviting the crowd to sing along, he joked, "It's been so long since we've done a show that I can't remember all the words to my old songs!"

The trio donated their time to Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Organization, which assists high school football players with spinal cord injuries. Tim and Billy Bob got involved with the charity while filming the new movie, Friday Night Lights, about high school football in Austin. The film's director, Peter Berg (former star of TV's Chicago Hope), organized the fund-raiser after he witnessed an injury that left a student athlete paralyzed.

After Faith joined her husband's band onstage to sing four tunes, including "This Kiss," and "Breathe," she joined Tim and Billy Bob to wrap up the show with stunning rendition of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."

-- Andy Langer

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