Tracy Lawrence Receives 2023 CRS Artist Humanitarian Award: “We’re Called to Give Back”

“I have been very, very blessed with my career and a great life and I feel like it’s a balance of what we’re supposed to do. We’re called to give back to a fellow man,” Lawrence said.

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Nicole Palsa

Nicole Palsa is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 2012, she has written about the newcomers, superstars, and legends of country music for publications including Music Mayhem, Country Now, and Country Music Tattle Tale. Nicole has served as a volunteer guide with Musicians On Call since 2016 and is a Troubadour member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and her Bachelor of Arts degree in French. In addition to being a devoted country music fan, Nicole is a family historian and genealogist who can often be found in stacks of research. She is also an avid traveler with a passion for wildlife and nature photography.

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Posted on April 10, 2023

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Tracy Lawrence; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Tracy Lawrence received the 2023 CRS Artist Humanitarian Award during the New Faces of Country Music show on March 15 during Nashville’s annual Country Radio Seminar, an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas and business practices in the Country music industry, with specific emphasis on issues relevant to Country radio.

The CRS Artist Humanitarian Award honors a Country artist whose philanthropic efforts have significantly improved the effectiveness and impact of the causes they support. This individual not only lends their name and influence but also dedicates their time, talent and resources. Created in 1990 by the organization’s board, past recipients of the award have included Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Trace Adkins, Randy Owen, Toby Keith, and Brad Paisley, among others.

Tracy Lawrence; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Tracy Lawrence; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Mission: Possible

The “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” singer has generously supported homeless communities through his charity, Mission: Possible, which was founded in 2006 to support and raise awareness of the homeless population in Middle Tennessee and beyond.

Since its inception, Mission: Possible has raised over $2 million for homelessness through events like the annual Turkey Fry to benefit the Nashville Rescue Mission. The Thanksgiving event has provided over 73,000 meals to the homeless and hungry of Middle Tennessee by frying over 7,600 turkeys. Mission: Possible also created a new Spring event in 2021, a Celebrity Golf Classic which has raised over $800,000.

Lawrence spoke with Music Mayhem about the honor, sharing his reaction to receiving the award, his upcoming tour with Gary Allan, and his plans to work on new music.

When Lawrence found out he was receiving the Artist Humanitarian Award, he reflected on the number of people involved with Mission: Possible over the years. “This has been a labor of love for a lot of people,” said Lawrence. “There are so many volunteers and so many people that have given up time over the years.”

In 2022, the Turkey Fry event had more than 250 volunteers that fried 1200 turkeys. “I couldn’t have done it by myself. It’s massive… We doubled the size of our event this year and it was amazing to see how many volunteers showed up and that just really just want to give their time, that just care about giving to an organization that they know is going to try to do good with it.”

We’re Called To Give Back”

Lawrence feels called to give back to society, especially given his professional success.

“I have been very, very blessed with my career and a great life and I feel like it’s a balance of what we’re supposed to do. We’re called to give back to a fellow man. And sometimes you might not even agree with who you’re doing it for, but you still are supposed to have compassion for it.”

The philanthropist shared that his charitable work has its highs and lows.

“It’s come with frustration at times when you feel like you’re not making a difference,” Lawrence admits. “When you hit roadblocks and people don’t see the vision that you have and times when you just say, I can’t do this anymore. I feel like I’m running in quick sand. But then things happen and change and something will spark something new in you and you trudge forward.” He says that he’s inspired by the people who work in homeless facilities that deal with suffering every day, recognizing how challenging it must be. “But it’s affected me. It’s affected all of me.”

Tracy Lawrence; Photo by Jon Paul Bruno
Tracy Lawrence; Photo by Jon Paul Bruno

Tracy Lawrence’s Road House Podcast

With a career spanning more than three decades, Tracy Lawrence has sold more than 13 million albums and charted 18 No.1 songs. The country superstar has received three ACM nominations for National On-Air Personality Of The Year as host of his nationally syndicated radio show, Honky Tonkin’ With Tracy Lawrence.

The show focuses on country music of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Lawrence also hosts a new podcast called TL’s Road House, which launched in September 2022 and features conversations with contemporary artists. Guests have included HARDY, Lainey Wilson, Jelly Roll, Jason Aldean, and more.

“The podcast allowed me to branch out and get to know some of the younger artists and build relationships with people that I didn’t know,” says Lawrence. “It’s fascinating trying to find the common ground that you have with some of the new people. Cause obviously society is different nowadays. I mean, social media and even just everything that they’ve grown up with is completely different from the world that I grew up in.”

Tracy Lawrence Will Soon Embark On A Co-Headlining Tour With Gary Allan

Starting in May, Lawrence is hitting the road with Gary Allan for a co-headlining tour that will span seven states.

“I’ve known Gary a little bit over the years, but he and I have really been texting back and forth and kind of building a rapport. So it’s going to be good to really get to know him a little bit more and spend some time with him over the tour. I think we’re going to have a good time.”

Lawrence says that the shows will be a little different from his recent tour with Clay Walker, where the stars would share the stage for some songs, then take turns performing their hits. With Allan, they plan to alternate headlining the shows from night to night or weekend to weekend.

“This is going to be a really good package. I’m excited about it because I think we draw two completely different crowds,” Lawrence admits.

Fans can view tour dates and ticket details at www.tracylawrence.com

New Music

Additionally, Tracy Lawrence released his latest music project in early 2022, the third and final installment of his Hindsight 2020 album series. Now, he’s ready to work on new music again.

“I’m starting to feel the creativity coming back. I’m ready to get back in and I need to start writing again. I’ve got a huge list of song ideas that I’ve got in my note folder in my phone, so I’m kind of getting there,” says Lawrence. “I’m at the age now where I just don’t want to be rushed. When it’s time it’ll happen.”

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Nicole Palsa is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 2012, she has written about the newcomers, superstars, and legends of country music for publications including Music Mayhem, Country Now, and Country Music Tattle Tale. Nicole has served as a volunteer guide with Musicians On Call since 2016 and is a Troubadour member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and her Bachelor of Arts degree in French. In addition to being a devoted country music fan, Nicole is a family historian and genealogist who can often be found in stacks of research. She is also an avid traveler with a passion for wildlife and nature photography.

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