Jennifer Nettles premiered her latest video, the emotionally profound and powerful “I Can Do Hard Things” on Friday’s episode of Today, during which she served as guest co-host alongside Today regular Hoda Kotb. In addition to Nettles delivering the song’s message of perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity, she is joined in the clip — which Katie Kauss directed — by a series of women sharing the real stories behind their particular challenges and personal triumphs.
Among the women featured are transgender advocate Jaime Combs, a former business owner who is now a wife, mother and grandmother; Kate Davis, a photographer who is also employed as Chief of Staff for an actress/activist and is adopting a baby as a single woman; Holly Gleason, an author, journalist, former Rolling Stone contributor and survivor of sexual assault navigating her journey in the wake of the MeToo movement; and Caroline Randall Williams, an award-winning poet, performance artist and food writer, whose poetry, Lucy Negro, Redux, inspired a ballet with a score by Americana musician Rhiannon Giddens.
Others in the clip include Danielle Randolph, a firefighter who’s also in the National Guard; Morgan Leigh Garner, an Army wife pursuing a music career and raising her family while her husband serves in U.S. Special Forces; Audrey Ynigez-Gutierrez, a graduate research assistant also serving as caregiver to her disabled mother, and Ali Harnell, a high-powered executive in the field of concert and event promotion.
In a recent essay for Medium, to accompany the track and video, Nettles wrote: “This song for me is a truth telling, a blood letting, a real-life heart opening to what it means to be a grown woman. It is my offering to honor the reality that, as I like to say, ‘everything is everything.’”