Country Music Singers: Paying It Forward

Country Music Singers:

Personal Lives and Paying It Forward

Country music singers can appear one way to the outside world, and another way to those with whom they have close relationships. As fans or country music lovers, it is easy to forget that the artists we see on the TV screen in our family rooms, or the "big screen" at the movies are people just like us. There is one exception-they "scored it big" with their talents, but humanly, they have the same hurts, pains, likes, dislikes or loves as everyone else. In many instances, the country music songs they sing tell the world what is going on in their souls. Listen and you will hear!

Just as we enjoy touching the lives of people in a positive way, so do country music singers. Having this awareness is the focal point of this article. It takes a look at the personal lives of artists, who they were before, during and after fame and fortune, and how they use their wealth, knowledge and connections to impact the lives of others.

Personal Life Defined

How does one describe an individual's personal life? Wikipedia says, "In modern times, many people have come to think of their personal lives as separate from work. Work and recreation are distinct; one is either on the job or not, and the transition is abrupt." The definition makes a distinction between being on the job and not being on the job. Being on the job seems to dictate one method of behavior, while off the job signals another. Once the job is clearly known, the behavior when one is there should be different from the behavior when one is not there.

Personality, on the other hand, defines the core of a person's being-his individuality. Unless he is especially clever in deception, observation of habitual patterns and qualities of behavior give a glimpse of who a person really is. Watch the attitude! Check out the physical nuances, and soon, the real person shines through.

Society equates financial success and prestige with good character and sound moral values. One has nothing to do with the other. A DUI for a country music singer should not make the headlines if a DUI for "Joe Blow" does not make the headlines.

There are those who would argue "That's the price you pay for fortune and fame," or "Fortune and fame are only placed on broad shoulders, wear them carefully." The flip side of that argument is "As long as I give you great music, what I do outside of that, is my business and not your concern." Should character, conduct and motives be private? Such a question is food for thought and not the focus of this article.

The underlying principle that governs what one does on the job, should govern his motives and actions outside of the job. There are consequences for all actions-famous or non-famous, rich or poor.

Paying It Forward

The phrase "paying it forward" is tossed around in today's conversations like a basket ball in a "play-off" game. What does it mean? How does it apply to country music singers?

I read several definitions before writing this article, and the one many readers chose was: "When something, usually good, happens to you, you turn around and do something good for someone else. Instead of paying something "back" you are paying it "forward" on to the next person."

The writer is simply saying one kind act done to you, deserves your doing a kind act to someone else, not necessarily the person who did it for you. It is simply the Golden Rule jazzed up a bit. Now that we are all on the same page with the meaning, the question arises, "Do you believe country music singers pay it forward?" This article takes the position that they do. Millions of fans pay it forward by buying the artists' CDs and DVDs. How do the artists respond?

Five Ways Country Music Singers

Pay It Forward

1. Support of numerous of charitable organizations.

2. Promote and help other struggling artists achieve success.

3. Become role models for youth in deprived communities.

4. Share personal failures in their lives so that others may avoid the same mistakes.

5. Develop networks that help others to establish the core values that bring happiness and success.

6. Use songs and ballads to inspire thoughtful ways of "paying it forward."

Examples of Artists Paying It Forward

Country music artists have a unique way of telling a story--a story that digs deep and pulls the strings of your soul. The song The Chain of Love by Clay Walker spells out the essence of this article. It says, "A kindness extended to you should be passed on to someone else." Here's how he said it:

"THE CHAIN OF LOVE" by Clay Walker

He was driving home one evening,

In his beat up Pontiac

When an old lady flagged him down,

Her Mercedes had a flat

He could see that she was frightened,

Standing out there in the snow

'Til he said, "I'm here to help you ma'am,

By the way my name is Joe"

She said, "I'm from St. Louis,

And I'm only passing through

I must have seen a hundred cars go by,

This is awful nice of you"

When he changed the tire,

And closed her trunk

And was about to drive away,

She said, "How much do I owe you?"

Here's what he had to say

You don't owe me a thing, I've been there too

Someone once helped me out,

Just the way I'm helping you

If you really want to pay me back,

Here's what you do

Don't let the chain of love end with you

Well a few miles down the road,

The lady saw a small cafe

She went in to grab a bite to eat,

And then be on her way

But she couldn't help but notice,

How the waitress smiled so sweet

And how she must've been eight months along,

And dead on her feet

And though she didn't know her story,

And she probably never will

When the waitress went to get her change,

From a hundred dollar bill

The lady slipped right out the door,

And on a napkin left a note

There were tears in the waitress's eyes,

When she read what she wrote

You don't owe me a thing,

I've been there too

Someone once helped me out,

Just the way I'm helping you

If you really want to pay me back,

Here's what you do

Don't let the chain of love end with you

That night when she got home from work,

The waitress climbed into bed

She was thinkin' about the money,

And what the lady's note had said

As her husband lay there sleeping,

She whispered soft and low

"Everything's gonna be alright, I love you, Joe"

Another artist named Brian Asselin actually made a CD entitled Pay It Forward. It has been described by some listeners with these superlatives: "Amazing! World Changing! Awesome!" and "Fate in Humanity Restored!" I am not sure I agree with all of them, but what I can agree with, is that he suggests clearly that man's humanity to man needs an adjustment. His version of paying it forward just maybe the answer. Find it at iTunes.

In 2000, a movie called Pay It Forward establishes that "when someone does you a big favor, don't pay it back," by doing something helpful for the same person, but pay it forward by helping someone else. You may find that that person needs it more that the one who bestowed the favor on you.

Supporting charitable organizations is another way country music performers pay it forward as seen in 2009 by Brad Paisley. He attended a fundraiser for the Shjon Podein Children's Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota. The organization supports charities that help to improve the lives of children in many situations and conditions. He also donated an autographed guitar for the auction.

Finally, in 2010, an online program called Not Alone used country music artist Craig Morgan as its new spokesman for soldiers suffering from combat stress. Morgan, once a soldier himself, understands the hardships military life places on individuals and families. The purpose of Not Alone is to offer confidential counseling and support to military personnel dealing with depression, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. These are a few examples of artists paying it forward.

Most country music singers who achieve success do not get there without many human sacrifices. These sacrifices help to mold and shape their personalities, define their ideologies and determine their core values.

Behind the glitter of stardom, many have fragile souls that are ripped apart by gossip, headlines and unthinking individuals who have not learned what it means to "pay it forward" themselves. Money has no power to heal the pain and mend the broken-hearted. It simply allows one to purchase "things."

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