TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 26, 2013 — Platinum-selling country star Darius Rucker will perform his summer anthem and current single "Radio" from his new album titled "True Believers" on the 48th annual national broadcast of the MDA Show of Strength Telethon on Labor Day weekend, Sunday, Sept. 1, 9/8c, on ABC television stations across the country.
Rucker's relationship with MDA began in 2011 when he met former MDA National Goodwill Ambassador Abbey Umali (now 14 years old) during a special Grand Ole Opry duet performance that aired on the 2011 MDA telethon. Rucker asked Abbey to join him on the main stage to help him sing his 2010 Billboard No. 1 single "Come Back Song," and has been an MDA friend ever since.
"I'm honored to be back on the MDA telethon stage to help families affected by muscle disease," said Rucker. "Two years ago, I met an incredible little girl, Abbey, who opened my eyes to the effects of muscle disease, and I wanted to help more. As much fun as it was performing for this year's show, getting to reconnect with Abbey and meet other MDA families was a true highlight of the whole experience for me."
In addition to Rucker's performance, the 2013 telethon will feature a star-studded celebrity lineup, including: Ryan Seacrest; Backstreet Boys; country stars Luke Bryan and Lee Ann Womack; "Glee" star Matthew Morrison; Enrique Iglesias; Paula Abdul; teenage pop sensation Austin Mahone; hip-hop dance crew Jabbawockeez; "American Idol" runner-up Jessica Sanchez; Kenny Loggins with the Blue Sky Riders; American blues rock band Vintage Trouble; and Universal recording artist and star from “The Voice” Chris Mann.
Additional presenters for the 2013 show include: ABC's Dr. Richard Besser; "Dancing with the Stars" contestant and "Brady Bunch" mom Florence Henderson; Emmy award-winning journalist Jann Carl; Olympic gold medal gymnasts Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner; and No Doubt drummer Adrian Young and his son, Mason Young.
The MDA telethon is one of America’s longest-standing and beloved fundraising and entertainment events. For 48 years, funds raised by MDA telethons also have contributed to the organization’s worldwide research program. Today, through current clinical trials, there is growing excitement that new lifesaving treatments and discoveries are on the horizon for many of the disorders MDA is dedicated to defeating, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
As in the past, the entertainment event will raise funds and awareness to support MDA’s mission to help children and adults affected by progressive and often fatal muscle diseases.
While the telethon has consistently enjoyed robust support from some of the biggest celebrities in show business, the real stars on the telethon are the individuals and families served by MDA.
MDA’s first Labor Day weekend telethon was broadcast in 1966 on a single New York station and has become the most successful fundraising event in the history of television. The show, with Jerry Lewis as its iconic host through 2010, and with help from a legion of top celebrities and entertainers, has raised millions each year to provide life-enhancing support and services for the families MDA serves.
Visit mda.org/muscle to learn more about the 2013 MDA telethon.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding worldwide research; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement. Visit mda.org and follow us at facebook.com/MDAnational and @MDAnews.