TUCSON, Ariz., Aug. 30, 2013. — The Grand Ole Opry will be showcased this weekend on the MDA Show of Strength Telethon when an Opry performance by hit-maker Luke Bryan is aired on the 48th annual show, Sunday, Sept. 1, 9/8c, on ABC television stations across the country.
During the two hour broadcast, Bryan sings one of his early hits, "Country Man," as part of the telethon, which in the past has featured Opry performances by Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride and Darius Rucker, among others.
Bryan recently debuted his “Crash My Party” album at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and country sales charts, selling 528,000 copies in its first week and making it the largest sales debut for a country male artist since 2004. It is also the third-highest album to debut across all genres this year. Additionally, Bryan is one of only two country artists — the other being Taylor Swift — who has sold more than a half-million copies of an album in a single week since 2008. This is Bryan’s second consecutive Top 200 No. 1 album.
In addition to Bryan's performance, the 2013 telethon will feature a star-studded celebrity lineup, including: Ryan Seacrest; Backstreet Boys; country stars Darius Rucker and Lee Ann Womack; Paula Abdul; Enrique Iglesias; teenage pop sensation Austin Mahone; "Glee" star Matthew Morrison; 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.
About the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Humana®. Opry performances are held every weekend of the year and on Tuesdays through Dec. 10. To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or visit opry.com. The Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. Celebrating 87 years of entertainment, the Opry can be heard on 650 WSM-AM, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio and opry.com. The syndicated weekly program, “America’s Opry Weekend,” airs on country radio stations across America. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP). For more information, visit opry.com.
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.