Eric Church, Ashley McBryde + Darius Rucker Push for COVID-19 Vaccinations in New PSA [WATCH]
Country artists Eric Church, Ashley McBryde and Darius Rucker are the stars of a new PSA advocating for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and educate themselves about the process. The ad, which premiered during the 2021 ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 18), focuses on the role the vaccine plays in helping live music return after the pandemic.
Part of the "It's Up to You" initiative, the PSA was shot at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry House, two of the venues used for the 2021 ACM Awards.
“We just want to educate people to know the truth: that vaccines are safe,” Academy of Country Music CEO Damon Whiteside tells Rolling Stone. He calls Church, McBryde and Rucker "the perfect combination of artists to appeal to the fanbase," and adds, "If we really want to get the music industry back, if people want to be back and see their favorite artists performing onstage again, [vaccinations] need to happen."
The new PSA is a collaboration between the ACM's philanthropic arm, Lifting Lives, the Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative. Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman hopes the PSA "will help increase awareness about the COVID-19 vaccines and connect audiences to resources where they can get answers to their top questions."
"Millions of Americans are looking forward to getting back to seeing live music again," Sherman adds, "and getting educated on the vaccines is one of the best steps to getting there.”
Church has been vocal in interviews about the need for mass vaccination against COVID-19 so that concerts, festivals and other large-scale events can return as they existed pre-pandemic. For a recent Billboard cover story, the country star received his vaccination in front of a photographer, and discussed how he and his team have been watching vaccine development and vaccination efforts closely, hoping to return to the road sooner than later.
"It became very clear to me that the only way to really get back to normal is through vaccinations. You’ve got to get needles in arms," says Church. "If you believe you shouldn't [get vaccinated], I don’t have a problem with it. I’m a liberty guy, too. I get it. But I view this a little differently than most other things. We’ve never encountered this."
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