Wynonna, Ronnie Milsap + More Welcome Delilah to Music City
There's nothing like great art and a good cause to bring celebrities out on a rainy Friday night. Wynonna, Ronnie Milsap, Lonestar, Big Kenny, Jamie O'Neal, Ty Herndon, Kimberley Locke and Jim Brickman were among the stars welcoming radio talk show hostess Delilah to Nashville.
Dubbed the 'Friday Night Girls (and Guys) VIP Party,' the charity event was held downtown at the Rymer Gallery and marked the first-ever exhibit of Delilah's art. More then 50 original pieces were available for purchase with proceeds benefiting her Point Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization that aids disadvantaged children, particularly refugees in Liberia.
"In this business, sometimes you wonder if it's smoke and mirrors. You wonder how they really act and who are they really," Wynonna told The Boot. "If you want to know who Delilah is, listen to her show. It's just real. We need more people who are willing to be honest."
When asked if she planned on purchasing any paintings, Wy replied, "I'm not buying anything. I'm on a budget. I cut up my credit cards two weeks ago. I'll start saving now for next year. I've got teenagers!"
"Wynonna knows she can just come out to the farm and say 'I like that one' and it's hers," Delilah interjected with a smile.
The most-listened-to-woman on American radio, Delilah's show is heard on more than 225 radio stations across the U.S. and Canada, drawing 8.2 million listeners weekly.
"I love the Delilah show," gushed Ronnie Milsap. "I've been listening to it for years and years. It's incredible. She's always got a song for the right occasion. Many people call in, maybe their spirit it a little down, and she lifts them up. She is really somebody special. She's a lifeline to a lot of people."
Big Kenny arrived on the red carpet with his wife, Christiev. "I have a lot of friends who have their art displayed here at the Rymer Gallery. When we're in town, we love to get out and see some art," Big Kenny told The Boot. "Everything Delilah is supporting falls right in line with everything we believe in, so any way to encourage that, we want to do it. We want to help kids in every way, shape or form."
When asked if they planned on buying one of Delilah's paintings, Big Kenny responded, "I'm hoping there's a painting in there that moves me."
"We might buy a dozen," Christiev added.
"She'll do that!" Big Kenny exclaimed with a smile. "This woman and a credit card is dangerous I tell you! Dangerous!"
The members of Lonestar were also fielding questions from reporters on the red carpet as they made their way into the gallery. "We wanted to come out support Delilah. She's supported us and our music for years," drummer Keech Rainwater told The Boot. "It's a great cause."
Keech was looking forward to checking out the radio hostess' paintings. "I'm curious to see if any of her art is inspired by stories she hears from her listeners, maybe stories from people who've really persevered. I want to see if her art reflects that."
In fact, Delilah told The Boot her audience does inspire her art. "I draw. I sketch. I paint," she says of her time on air. "I went through a phase where I was doing sculpting with clay and my entire control board was covered with blobs of clay."
Delilah's show has also served as inspiration for others. "The title of my album, 'Journey On,' I wrote after sitting and listening to Delilah and her stories one Saturday night," said Ty Herndon. "I got up Sunday morning and wrote the song with Caleb Collins because I'd heard so many inspirational stories and stories about heartbreak. I remember hearing one woman saying 'I've got to journey on.' I wish I knew who that lady was, but I don't. Because of Delilah's show, I've got a powerful song."
For Jim Brickman, the evening was all about supporting his longtime friend. "Delilah and I have known each other about 15 years," the prolific pianist told The Boot. "She was one of the first people in the country to play my music and believe in me."