Bobby Bones Reveals Childhood Health Struggle That Inspires Him to Work With St. Jude

When Bobby Bones hosted his fifth annual Million Dollar Show at the Ryman Auditorium, he once again donated all of the proceeds to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Bones, who has raised more than $14 million for the hospital, is drawn to supporting St. Jude because of his own childhood health struggle, which he is now opening up about.

"When I was a kid, I didn't fight cancer, but I had a lot of internal issues and I was in the hospital a long time," Bones told Country Now. "If it wasn't for people, you know, stepping up and helping pay our bills, I don't know that I would've got the care that I got then. So when I heard that there was a hospital that took care of kids, I started to get involved. But then, once I started to get involved, I started to go and actually see, you know, how positive of an atmosphere it is when it's not a very positive thing happening."

St. Jude offers completely free health care for children battling cancer and other diseases of the blood, as well as gives the family a free place to stay while their child is hospitalized, and pays for meals for the family as well.

"To me, being able to work with the kids of St. Jude, it's a bit personal because at St. Jude you don't have to pay a bill," Bones reflected. "When you go in, they take care of the travel to and from, the food, all the treatment obviously."

Bones also recently opened up about his painful childhood. Although he had spoken about his upbringing in the past, living in poverty with a single mother who battled addiction, the Arkansas native just disclosed how challenging his relationship with his mother really was for him growing up.

"We never had a real, live human conversation, my mom and I didn't," Bones admitted while on Running Wild with Bear Grylls, in a clip shared exclusively with Entertainment Tonight. "And I loved her, and I still love her."

In fact, it was his lack of love that he felt from his mother that inspired him to start performing as an adult.


"I do stand-up so I can feel love," Bones admitted. "For me, I never had that ... My mom was an addict, a lot of drugs and a lot of alcohol. She died in her 40s. So she was never really present even though she was there."

Photo Credit: Getty / David Becker