|Nashville, Tenn. (August 23, 2021) — Country and southern rock icon Charlie Daniels posthumously received Pandora's Billionaire Award last week at the 2021 Volunteer Jam: A Musical Salute to Charlie Daniels, held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The honor commemorates one billion streams on the national music platform.
The Marshall Tucker Band (MTB), longtime friends of The Charlie Daniels Band (CDB), were on-hand to make the presentation. During the group's set, MTB lead singer Doug Gray called Daniels' wife of nearly 56 years, Hazel Daniels and his son, Charlie Daniels Jr., to the stage, surprising them with the special plaque from Pandora.
"Let's cry together," Gray told Hazel and Daniels Jr., who were visibly emotional.
"This special award and the entire night brought tears to my eyes, to see how much his fans loved him, because he loved them, too," explains Daniels' wife. "It was such an honor. I wish everyone had fans as loyal as Charlie's."
Daniels Jr. was equally as thrilled about the honor for his legendary father.
"In what was an exciting, uplifting and emotional night, one of the highlights of this year’s Volunteer Jam for me was the presentation of the Pandora Billionaire Award," he says. "For an artist whose main success was when record sales were measured by gold and platinum albums and decades before the advent of streaming to reach that milestone, this is a real testament to dad’s legacy and to his millions of fans who continue to listen to his music. He would be honored and humbled."
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member's music will now be played on Pandora's Country Billionaires station.
Thousands of fans packed the arena to pay tribute to Daniels. The evening included performances by the CDB, the MTB, Ricky Skaggs, Larry, Steve & Rudy: The Gatlin Brothers, Randy Travis (w/ James Dupré), Travis Tritt, Chris Young, Big & Rich, Lorrie Morgan, The Isaacs, Scooter Brown Band, 38 Special, Cedric Burnside, Jenny Tolman, Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, Exile, Anthony Castagna, The Allman Betts Band, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Travis Denning, Johnny Lee, Rhett Akins, The SteelDrivers, Pure Prairie League and comedian Dusty Slay. SiriusXM's Storme Warren hosted. Sixwire was the backing band.
"The State of Tennessee declared August 18th Charlie Daniels Day," notes Daniels' manager and friend David Corlew. "We had an epic tribute to Charlie with an incredible lineup, and to top the great evening, Doug Gray of The Marshall Tucker Band presented Hazel and Charlie Jr. with the Pandora Billionaire Award. That's as good as it gets."
The 2021 Volunteer Jam: A Musical Salute to Charlie Daniels was produced by Outback Presents in association with David Corlew and Associates and Conway Entertainment Group.