Skip to main content
Foundation Updates

Second Nashville Fundraiser Rallies Talented Country Stars and Celebrates the Foundation’s Dedication toward a Cure

Michael J. Fox with all the talent performing at A Country Thing

“When he started seeing symptoms, I might have given up, a lot of people probably would have. Instead, he took his life as an entertainer and an actor and made it something so much bigger, and connected with so many people,” said Jason Isbell, GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter reacting to Michael’s significant impact on Parkinson’s research as he spoke on the red carpet of The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s (MJFF) second A Country Thing Happened On The Way to Cure Parkinson’s.  

On Tuesday, April 2, nearly 600 friends gathered at The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, for the Foundation’s second Music City-based event. Attendees celebrated the enormous progress in Parkinson’s research in the last year — heralded by the discovery of a biomarker in Parkinson’s

It was a night of incredible country music talent on stage and a deliciously curated cocktail supper menu by Country Thing co-chair and award-winning chef Trevor Moran of Locust. The evening kicked off with a high-energy performance from Little Big Town. Kimberly Schlapman, member of country music supergroup Little Big Town and event co-chair provided heartfelt remarks of her personal connection to the disease and introduced virtual remarks from award-winning actor Connie Britton who teed up the Foundation’s short film, “Breakthrough.” The film, written and produced by Foundation Board member and Michael’s longtime producing partner, Nelle Fortenberry, covers the groundbreaking biomarker breakthrough and features star-studded talent including (in order of appearance) Harrison Ford, Josh Gad, Jennifer Grey, Wendell Pierce, Tracy Pollan, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox. 

The night continued with a-list performances by Jason Isbell and Sheryl Crow. Audience members were brought to their feet when Sheryl Crow, Little Big Town and Jason Isbell closed out the evening and sang “Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers Band.  

Since its inception in 2000, MJFF has funded an incredible $2 billion in high-impact research programs, and the Foundation’s second event in Nashville raised over $510,000, with 100 percent of proceeds from the evening going directly to speeding the Foundation’s global research programs.  

On his gratitude for the Foundation’s scientific leaps forward being felt across the community and the promise that lies ahead, Michael shared exclusively with Entertainment Tonight:  

“I think we’re closer than we know. We’ve had some major breakthroughs on the diagnostic front, which means we can treat the disease before symptoms start. It’s a major, major thing. If we continue to have strides like that then we’ll get to the point where we have a cure.” 

The evening was made possible by event title sponsor Silverberg Family Foundation and its co-chairs, Tracy Pollan and Michael J. Fox; Trevor Moran; Virginia and Richard Fitzgerald; Kimberly and Steve Schlapman; and Katherine and Jay Williams.  

Read more of Michael’s reflections and candor in exclusive interviews with Entertainment Tonight and People

And check out these top highlights from #ACountryThing.  

  • Little Big Town performs at Country Thing
  • Sheryl Crow performing
  • Jason Isbell performing
  • MJF, Tracy Pollan and Kimberly Schlapman on Country Thing red carpet
  • MJF and Tracy Pollan on Country Thing red carpet
  • The stage of a Country Thing
We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience. By continuing to use this website, you indicate that you have read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.