Brad Paisley was a surprise guest at the 2018 St. Jude Country Cares seminar on Saturday night in Memphis, Tenn. The singer was given the the Randy Owen Angels Among Us award.

The honor recognizes individuals who have "made exceptional and lasting contributions" to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Darius Rucker was the honoree in 2017 after having been introduced to St. Jude by Paisley and Dierks Bentley in 2010. The only other recipients have been John Rich, former ALSAC Chief Operating Officer David McKee (posthumously) and St. Jude Country Cares Advisory Council member Sharon Eaves (posthumously).

"This is the kind of place that changes you," Paisley said in accepting the award. He'd go on to tell the story of Owen pulling him aside to impress upon him the importance of St. Jude and doing things bigger than music and entertainment. The younger singer sat on stage in great reverence of the Alabama frontman.

Paisley has been a dedicated supporter of St. Jude throughout his career, including headlining a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Country Cares at the Grand Ole Opry in September 2014, several celebrity fishing tournaments, countless hospital visits and designing a room at the Target House house for patients to be able to relax together. Country Cares is a fundraising arm of St. Jude started by Owen of Alabama in 1989. Every year hundreds of radio stations shares stories of patients and breakthroughs at St. Jude, asking listeners to become partners in hope. Nearly $800 million has been raised in 28 years, with over 260 stations set to participate in 2018.

Taste of Country and Townsquare Media radio stations will unite for a combined radiothon/webathon on Feb. 1-2.

After accepting his award Paisley and Owen traded songs for the annual songwriter's night banquet that closes Country Cares.

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