Randy Owen started the band Alabama more than 40 years ago, and helped the group earn a reputation as one of the hardest working acts in country music. With 12 No. 1 albums and dozens of major awards, including an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the 62-year-old has certainly earned the right to sit back and relax -- but that's not how he wants to spend his time.

"Nobody works harder at what they do than myself," he tells The Boot. "Nobody cares more about what they do, and nobody appreciates it more than I do. I think that comes through the fans, through the friends that you meet ... The juices never stop flowing. I still write songs. I can't not be who I am."

The singer-songwriter is working on a new album with the iconic group (their first studio album since 2001), as well as continuing to pursue his own own ventures separate from his bandmates. "Now I'm getting the opportunity to have my own radio show ["Country Gold With Randy Owen" on Sirius XM] and play music by my friends, people that I love and love their music, and still play music on the road, and go out and play shows with Alabama. I don't want to differentiate myself from all the wonderful experiences with Alabama, but there's a certain amount of freedom that goes along with stuff like that. It's obvious that there's different tastes, different approaches to songs."

All of his accolades and achievements aside, Randy feels is his most important role is being an ambassador for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"That's one of my passions in life," he maintains. "As long as God lets me live, I want to do things that make a difference in the world besides play music. I love music, don't get me wrong. I love writing songs. I love doing my radio show and talking to the fans and listening to what they have to say, but there's a certain responsibility that comes along with being given the gift of music. I take that seriously, but at the same time I try to use it to do something that makes a difference in a positive way."

Randy's efforts for St. Jude include hosting his annual Country Cares for St. Jude event, which celebrated its 23rd anniversary earlier this year. "That's what celebrities can do. I think it's very important that whatever is in your heart, don't be anybody else but yourself. If it means raising money for veterans -- if it means raising money for whatever, if that's what's in your heart, be passionate about it and don't let it go."

Find out more about how to help St. Jude Children's Research Hospital here.