Two artists who have publicly shared stories about battling addictions, Joe Walsh and Steven Tyler, will perform at a Washington, D.C. rally this fall to draw attention to the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The free event – dubbed “Unite to Face Addiction,” which the non-profit organization Facing Addiction put together – will take place on the National Mall on October 4th. The Aerosmith singer will perform with Nashville country-rockers Loving Mary, and the event will also feature performances by Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, the Fray and Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik.
The rally will find Facing Addiction teaming with 450 other organizations from around the United States to draw attention to what its reps characterize as “America’s denial about the most urgent health crisis facing our nation today – addiction to alcohol and other drugs.” Along with the musical performances, the event will allow speakers from around the world to discuss addiction, and it will highlight celebrities’, politicians’ and other advocates’ viewpoints about the matter with an eye toward combating addiction in the U.S. The rally’s organizers have plans to announce more performers and special guests in the near future.
“Unite to Face Addiction will mark the first time our nation will collectively stand up to addiction, a health problem that impacts one in three households,” Greg Williams, who is a Facing Addiction co-founder and in long-term recovery, said in a statement. “Twenty-two million Americans are currently suffering from a substance use disorder, and more than 23 million others are living in recovery. When you include the families of the afflicted, addiction impacts over 85 million people – we all know somebody.”
“When I lost my son, Austin, to addiction, I had no idea this tragedy was happening all over America – and that in our country, a life is lost to addiction every four minutes – the equivalent of a jumbo jet falling from the sky every day, with no survivors,” Jim Hood, another Facing Addiction co-founder, said. “We know there are solutions to the addiction crisis and it’s time for America to face addiction and exercise the political and social will to act on those solutions.”
The rally’s host committee includes baseball player Darryl Strawberry, singer-songwriter Paul Williams, former Miss USA Tara Conner, basketball player Chris Herren, rap mogul Russell Simmons and journalist and author David Sheff, among others.
Outside of the event, the Aerosmith singer recently shared his first country song, “Love Is Your Name,” which also featured Loving Mary. Joe Walsh, meanwhile played a solo on the last Foo Fighters album, guested on the upcoming Hollywood Vampires LP and is readying himself to be honored, along with his Eagles bandmates, as a Kennedy Center Honors recipient this winter.