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Alabama Native and Country Music Hall of Famer to Support Global Event
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (December 16, 2020) – The World Games 2022 Birmingham has added another legendary figure to the list of Alabama celebrities supporting the international sporting event. Officials announced today that world-renowned country music artist and humanitarian Randy Owen has joined The Games as an Honorary Co-Chair.
“Millions of people around the world have grown up with Randy’s one-of-a-kind voice,” said The World Games 2022 CEO Nick Sellers. “He’s a national treasure for the USA and for the State of Alabama. And we are excited to have that legendary voice as an Honorary Co-Chair of this once in a lifetime moment.”
Owen will participate in several events at The World Games 2022, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. He will also represent, support and promote the message and mission of The World Games 2022.
“I’m so honored to join my fellow outstanding Alabamians – Charles Barkley, Dr. Henry Panion, and those yet to be announced – in helping bring this event to Alabama,” Owen said. “The people in our state have made a tremendous impact on my life and career, and I’m happy to show the world what Alabama is all about. Our people are as diverse as the landscape in our beautiful state. It is my hope that we are able to bring that uniqueness to the forefront and let the light of Alabama shine out into the world.”
A graduate of Jacksonville State University, Owen is best known for his career as the lead singer of Alabama, the Country Music Group of the Century (Recording Industry Association of America). One of the most successful country music groups in history, Alabama released 21 gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums, had 43 No. 1 singles, sold more than 75 million records, and earned more than 150 industry awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a career spanning more than 50 years.
As a founding member of Alabama, Owen was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Musician’s Hall of Fame, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and received the BMI President’s Award. Individually, Owen has been the recipient of numerous local and national honors, including the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and has been inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“I could not be more thrilled to have an iconic Alabamian such as Randy Owen join us for this magnificent celebration of sports and the arts, one that will cast the eyes and ears of the entire world upon our city and state,” said Dr. Henry Panion, who was recently named Artistic Director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. “There has been no greater ambassador for Alabama than my friend Randy, and I am looking forward to working with him on the festivities for The World Games 2022.”
A Dekalb County, Ala., native, Owen grew up on Lookout Mountain, on a farm that his family still owns today. The property, previously sharecropped by his family, has raised world-class cattle since 1981 and is named “Tennessee River Music, Inc.” after Owen’s first No. 1 single.
Owen is also known for his philanthropic efforts in his own community and around the world, raising millions of dollars through the June Jam and Tornado Relief charity concerts in Alabama, and groundbreaking fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Most notably, Owen created the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon, which has raised more than $900 million dollars for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital located in Memphis, Tennessee. For his fundraising efforts, Owen has also received the Michael F. Tamer Award, The Founder’s Award, National Library of Medicine Award, and the Country Music Association Foundation Humanitarian Award.
“My wife, Kelly, and I raised our family in Alabama,” concluded Owen. “Our children all graduated from Alabama universities: Jacksonville State (Alison), Samford (Heath), and Auburn (Randa). My Home’s in Alabama isn’t just a song or lyrics on a page. My home and heart will always be in Alabama, and now it is the home of The World Games 2022!”
Owen joins NBA Hall of Fame inductee Charles Barkley, who was announced as an Honorary Co-Chair in July.
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