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Country Stars Celebrate Military Service at Stars and Strings Concert

(Radio.com) On November 15th, CBS Radio rose the curtain (or flag, rather) on the third annual Stars and Strings concert, which allowed the Chicago Theater to transform into equal parts country concert, podcast, storyteller series, and MTV unplugged, in a stripped-down, acoustic concert celebrating our nation's military heroes and their families.

The evening was the playlist of our dreams. A live, acoustic shuffle of ballads and classics, heartbreakers and soul-renewers that breath life and compassion into us. Proceeds from the show went to Folds of Honor, which provides educational support to the spouses and children of our fallen and injured soldiers. Every seat in the house was donned with a white bandana and a small American flag. Rather than the customary red curtain, a larger than life American flag hung center stage pre-show. At 7:30 p.m. Drew Walker welcomed us into the night and Jim Cornelison, voice of the Chicago Blackhawks, delivered the National Anthem.

Country rock renegade Lindsay Ell kicked off the performance (and her first show at the Chicago Theater). Ell beamed, 'For a blonde girl who likes to write songs and play guitar, it's a dream to hear [my] music on the radio, so thank you CBS and US99!"

Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Young, and Brad Paisley then took over hosting duties of what now felt like a jam session atop a country porch on a warm summer night. Kelsea reminisces about going to Brad's shows growing up, while Brad forgets a verse and goes to the crowd to remind him. As this is Ballerini's last show before getting married, she 'unapologetically' showcases her broad vocal range. Chris recounts experiencing how music goes 'around the world and back again' while playing a show in Iraq, and accidentally calling his sister a former Marine, rather than a retired Marine. Read more here.


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