The first time Brantley Gilbert visited St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, he was a new artist and a little rough around the edges. Now, he's a father, and it's a little terrifying.

"It's almost like I'm scared of that thought," the singer told Taste of Country at the 2019 Country Cares conference. "Definitely, it's a different feeling."

Gilbert and his wife Amber welcomed Barrett in November 2017. A daughter named Braylen was born in Sept. 2019. For the most part he's blocked out thoughts of them ever needing to stay at a place like this, but he's happy to have a world-renowned childhood cancer and life threatening disease hospital so close should he need it. It goes well beyond the medicine — it's the culture.

"It's not the down-and-out place you have in your mind. It's extremely hopeful," he says. "It just puts a lot of things in perspective, especially now, being a dad."

The 36-year-old is one of dozens of country artists who have supported St. Jude in recent years as part of Country Cares, Randy Owen's 30-year-old initiative to involve the country music industry in raising funds. The results have been historic with nearly $1 billion raised as hundreds of radio stations stopped programming to battle cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Childhood cancer survival rates have jumped from 20 to 80 percent since Danny Thomas founded the hospital, but that means there is still work to do. That's the essence of the new St. Jude motto: We Won't Stop.

From Feb. 4-5, Taste of Country, The Boot and radio stations nationwide will bring awareness to St. Jude and ask for your support. Become a Partner in Hope for just $19 a month and get the enjoyment of knowing you're a part of St. Jude's We Won't Stop commitment. You'll even get a sharp, red T-shirt to show off.

This is Taste of Country and Townsquare Media's seventh radiothon for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Our $11 million raised is a small, but important part of the nearly $1 billion raised through Country Cares, the Randy Owen-founded initiative that started more than 30 years ago.

See Country Stars Who Know #StJudeWontStop

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