Houston will always hold a special place in Chris Young’s career. It was there, 11 years ago, that the Nashville native, then working at a dance hall in Arlington, Texas, auditioned for the Nashville Star TV show. He went on to win that season’s competition, earning a contract with RCA records and launching a successful country-music run that’s seen him score eight Number One singles. With parts of Texas, including Houston, the U.S.’s fourth largest city, devastated by Hurricane Harvey, Young is giving back to the state with a $100,000 pledge and GoFundMe campaign.
“Port Aransas, Rockport, Corpus Christi, Houston and so many other places are going to be dealing with so much damage and loss of life for a long time to come,” Young said in a video accompanying his GoFundMe campaign. “I’m worried about the people there – my friends, family and neighbors – and I want to help. I’m starting this GoFundMe campaign in an effort to help everyone in Texas that has been affected by this hurricane.”
Young, a Nashville-area native who owns a home in Houston, isn’t the only major country personality seeking to lend a hand to Harvey’s thousands of victims in the Lone Star State. Radio-show host Bobby Bones, who spent a decade working in Austin before moving to Nashville, donated $10,000, in addition to helping out with via St. Jude Pimpin’ Joy fundraiser and a special Texas Forever t-shirt, proceeds for which will go to disaster relief. Texas’ Josh Abbott Band, who formed in Lubbock, have also introduced a special My Texas t-shirt through their charity, Josh Abbott Band Cares.
Lady Antebellum, whose You Look Good Tour stopped in Dallas, four hours north of Houston, on Saturday, are also pitching in. The band donated all of the money it made from merchandise sales at the show to relief efforts, after nixing a scheduled tour stop in Houston. “We are so sad to have to cancel our show in Houston tonight,” the band tweeted on Sunday. “All of our merch proceeds will be going towards hurricane relief funds.”
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The Gulf Coast of Texas is no stranger to such disasters. In 1900, Galveston, then the primary port city along the Texas coast, was leveled by a Category 4 hurricane that remains the deadliest natural disaster in United States history. It was that storm that helped transfer the seat of industry in the region to Houston, but Harvey is already being described as an “unprecedented” event by the National Weather Service. There have been at least five confirmed deaths since flooding started over the weekend, with rainfall expected to reach a record-setting 50 inches in the coming days.