Country music artist and philanthropist Ty Herndon, in partnership with CMT, has again organized the Nashville music industry’s staple Pride Month events—the 2021 Concert for Love and Acceptance, set to take place on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Thanks to Herndon’s charitable foundation, The Foundation for Love & Acceptance, the event returns as a star-studded online event, co-hosted as it has been since 2017 by Herndon and CMT’s Cody Alan.  This year, Music City Prep has joined the Concert as presenting sponsor, taking visible roles in a VIP pre-taping event and using a segment during the event to raise awareness about PrEP and HIV prevention.

Ty Herndon + Jamie Floyd. Photos by JEREMY RYAN

Two weeks ago, Ty Herndon and CMT hosted a VIP pre-taping of portions of the Concert for Love and Acceptance at the Analog at Hutton Hotel—to which OUTvoices Nashville was given exclusive access. Throughout the evening Ty Herndon and CMT’s Cody Alan pre-taped a number of hosting segments and a number of artists pre-taped their performances that will premiere during the concert.

Music City PrEP Clinic, presenting partner of the Concert for Love and Acceptance, was represented at the VIP event by the Drag Nurses of Music City PrEP Clinic. Drag Nurse Honey Davenport treated the audience to a live performance at the VIP event, and the nurses will also make a special appearance during the broadcast to talk about the important work Music City PrEP clinic does for more than 6000 clients across Tennessee.

Music City PrEP Clinic Drag Nurse Honey Davenport. Photos by JEREMY RYAN

"We jumped at the opportunity to be the presenting sponsor of this year's Concert for Love and Acceptance,” said Rob Birkhead, Music City Prep’s director of marketing. “At the Music City PrEP Clinic, our mission is to reduce the number of new HIV transmissions in Tennessee to ZERO by prescribing PrEP, a once-a-day pill that prevents HIV. The more our community experiences love and acceptance, the more we are able to overcome stigmas and other roadblocks that keep us from educating and protecting ourselves… We are grateful to Ty for his vision of spreading the message of love and acceptance. And we're extremely proud to be a part of this spectacular event, supporting such a beautiful cause.”

The Concert for Love and Acceptance also views the sponsorship as contributing to the missions of both organizations.

“As the world opens up post-COVID, we were thrilled to offer this special opportunity to showcase some of our great talent for a live audience and spotlight the important partnership of our friends at Music City PrEP Clinic,” said Zeke Stokes, Executive Producer, CONCERT FOR LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE. “It’s so appropriate that they have joined the team this year as we honor Kathy Mattea for her pioneering support and of the LGBTQ community and in particular, her early work to raise awareness in the country music community about HIV and AIDS. It’s a new day when it comes to prevention and treatment thanks to folks like her, and we couldn’t be prouder to be locking arms with Music City PrEP, which is doing such amazing work here in Nashville and beyond.”

The main event’s 2021 lineup originally included Brothers Osborne, Kristin Chenoweth, Terri Clark, Brooke Eden, Harper Grae, Chris Housman, Kathy Mattea, Rissi Palmer, Gretchen Peters, Tenille Townes, Walker County, and Chase Wright. Subsequently announced performers include country music artists Michael Ray, Lily Rose, Jake Hoot, Jamie Floyd, Paul Cardall and Cody Belew, as well as comedian Dana Goldberg.

Jada Cato. Photos by JEREMY RYAN

In addition to performing, Kathy Mattea will also be honored with the second annual Foundation For Love & Acceptance R.A.L.Y. (Rescue A Life, Y’all) Award, presented by Herndon in recognition of her early advocacy for the LGBTQ community and HIV/AIDS awareness.

“Kathy Mattea was standing up for LGBTQ people and raising awareness about the HIV and AIDS epidemic long before it was cool — especially in the country music community. It’s an honor to give her the long overdue recognition she deserves for being a pioneering ally and friend,” said Herndon.

The 2021 Concert for Love and Acceptance will take place Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. CST and will be live-streamed exclusively on CMT’s Facebook and YouTube channels, and at F4LA.org/concert. For more information and ongoing updates, as well as to RSVP for the live online event, visit the Foundation for Love and Acceptance.

The Red Carpet Countdown, an online event now in its second year, will feature additional appearances and performances in the two hours preceding the Concert For Love & Acceptance. It will stream online exclusively on Herndon’s Facebook channel.

GLAAD, MusiCares and Nashville’s Oasis Center are beneficiaries of event proceeds. Music City PrEP Clinic is the exclusive Presenting Partner of the 2021 Concert For Love and Acceptance. The organization serves to help Middle Tennesseans live an HIV-free life through PrEP medication, education, anti-stigma campaigns, and support.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

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