Eric Church, Darius Rucker, and Ashley McBryde have teamed up to ask fans to get their COVID-19 vaccine, appearing in an Ad Council public service announcement encouraging viewers to learn more about the vaccine and receive their shots so that live music can return to its full potential. The ad was presented by ACM Lifting Lives with the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative's "It's Up to You" campaign and premiered during the 2021 ACM Awards on Sunday night. It will now air nationally on various networks.
All three stars appear solo on stage — Church and Rucker at the Ryman Auditorium and McBryde at the Grand Ole Opry — and Church is the first to speak. "I've thought a lot about what I've missed the most during this pandemic, and the thing that I miss the most is you," he says. "I love playing to a live audience," declares McBryde. "There's nothing like it." Rucker agrees, "There's nothing like feeling the love that you guys give to us and we're trying to give to you. And I just can't wait to get back to that." Church pointed out that an iconic venue is nothing without fans. "All these places that we stand in — the Ryman, the Opry House — those places are just places if you don't put the people in them," he said.
"The COVID-19 vaccines are going to help us all get back to the moments we miss," Rucker continues, while McBryde mentions that "It's totally normal to have questions; I did too. That's why it's so important to get informed." "There's a lot of talk out there about the vaccines," Church says. "So, ask your doctor and get the facts. It's up to you."
Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music, recently told Rolling Stone that Church, Rucker, and McBryde were "the perfect combination of artists" to bring the message of vaccination to the country-music fan base. "We just want to educate people to know the truth that vaccines are safe," Whiteside said. "If we really want to get the music industry back, if people want to be back and see their favorite artists performing onstage again, [vaccinations] need to happen."
Church recently appeared on the cover of Billboard magazine getting his second vaccine shot, and he told the publication that he believes vaccines are the only way to return to full-capacity concerts. "I view it as a godsent miracle," he said. "It became very clear to me that the only way to really get back to normal is through vaccinations. You've got to get needles in arms."