Kane Brown Moved to Tears As He Receives The 2024 CRS Artist Humanitarian Award

“I don’t ever expect to get an award for helping people, especially kids,” Brown admitted.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

March 1, 2024

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Kane Brown; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Kane Brown has been named the recipient of the 2024 CRS Artist Humanitarian Award. This accolade was presented to the country superstar on Thursday, February 29 during the CRS Honors ceremony as part of this year’s Country Radio Seminar (CRS) in Nashville.

Established in 1990, the CRS Artist Humanitarian Award aims to recognize a country artist each year whose philanthropic efforts have had a notable impact on the cause they support. This year, Brown was recognized as a result of his longstanding efforts to support underprivileged youth at the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA).

Tracy Lawrence Commends Brown On His Generous Work

First to celebrate Brown on this award was 2023 recipient and fellow country star Tracy Lawrence, who appeared via video to say, “I’d like to congratulate my friend Kane Brown for all of his hard work, giving back to his community, feeding underprivileged kids, doing a lot of work with the Boys and Girls Club through 2024 Humanitarian CRS Award Winner is Kane Brown. Congratulations.”

Frank Sanchez, National Vice President of Sports, Entertainment and Alumni Development at the Boys & Girls Club, was also on hand to present Brown with the award and speak on behalf of his contributions to the nonprofit over the years. 

Kane Brown, Frank Sanchez, National Vice President of Sports, Entertainment and Alumni Development at the Boys & Girls Club; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kane Brown, Frank Sanchez, National Vice President of Sports, Entertainment and Alumni Development at the Boys & Girls Club; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

“When we think of the word humanitarianism, the definition of that as somebody who gives to the greater good of those in need. And when I met Kane Brown some five years ago when he came into the headquarters of Boys and Girls Club, I met a gentleman who said, ‘I want to give back to the greater good of kids.’ But over this past five years, I think when it comes to Kane, there’s a word missing in that definition, and the word is selfless. Kane is a humanitarian that gives selflessly to the kids of Boys and Girls clubs and has done that for five years,” Sanchez shared. 

Lending His Head, His Heart, And His Hand To The Nonprofit

He went on to say that the “Thank God” singer has lent both his time and his money to the local BGCA chapters. Not only has he taken the time to share his life story with these youths, but he has also used his platform to fund once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as providing children and their chaperones with tickets, dinner and backstage access to his concerts. 

Kurt Johnson, CRB President, Kane Brown, Frank Sanchez, National Vice President of Sports, Entertainment and Alumni Development at the Boys & Girls Club; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kurt Johnson, CRB President, Kane Brown, Frank Sanchez, National Vice President of Sports, Entertainment and Alumni Development at the Boys & Girls Club; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Sanchez continued, “When adults and donors ask, how can we help? I often say you could help from either your heart, your head, or your hand…most people say, I’m willing to do one. I’m willing to give from the heart. But when I met Kane Brown, he said, ‘why do I only have to do one? Why can’t I give from the heart, the head, and the hand?’ And over the past five years, I have nobody who has demonstrated that more than Kane Brown.”

But Brown’s efforts don’t stop there. On his NBA arena tour in 2021 and 2022, the superstar contributed $1 from each ticket sold towards the renovation of a BGCA gym in Cleveland, Ohio. He also worked with the company Lowe’s to help rebuild a BGCA facility in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee and donated the earnings from his song “Worldwide Beautiful” and the sales of his “Kane Krunch” cereal to the afterschool program that serves around 3.4 million kids. 

“I See Myself In Them”

Kane Brown then followed Sanchez’ kind words as he stepped up to the podium to accept his award, which he dubbed “a huge honor.”

Kane Brown; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kane Brown; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

“I don’t ever expect to get an award for helping people, especially kids, but the Boys and Girls Club just has been so amazing to me because yes, I can help them, but they helped me,” he shared honestly. “I see myself in them and I didn’t really have anybody to help me coming up. So it’s cool that I get to give back. I’m not going to talk too much. I don’t feel like tearing up, so I’m not going to do it. I’m just going to say thank you.”

Kane Brown Is Flooded With Emotions

However, his efforts to refrain from getting too emotional in front of the room of music industry executives came crumbling down as he started to reflect on his upbringing and how his experiences have impacted his desire to give back to others 

“So for me, growing up, my dad’s been in prison since ‘96. My mom was a single mom working, raising two kids, trying to work multiple jobs. Never knew anything about money growing up, but now that I’m older and realize what she was making back in the day, I don’t even know how we really survived. So sports was a huge thing for me after school to stay out of trouble. My little brother went down a different path. So once I found out about the Boys and Girls Club, I just wished that I would’ve been part of the community.”

Kurt Johnson, CRB President, Kane Brown, Frank Sanchez, National Vice President of Sports, Entertainment and Alumni Development at the Boys & Girls Club; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kurt Johnson, CRB President, Kane Brown, Frank Sanchez, National Vice President of Sports, Entertainment and Alumni Development at the Boys & Girls Club; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Leaving Behind A Profound Legacy

When asked why he feels it’s important to give back to the community in any way, big or small, the Chattanooga, TN native began by explaining that growing up, the person he could always count on was his nana. When she got older, he saw her undergo financial struggles, and as a result he took it upon himself to get multiple jobs to provide for himself and his family. 

“I remember working two jobs and trying to get a car and I didn’t have any family member that could just give me a dollar…I was working Target, I was working at FedEx, I was working at Lowe’s while I was still in high school, just so I could get around. Nobody telling me stay in school,” he said as tears welled up in his eyes. 

The father of two with one on the way concluded his speech by saying that he hopes with his efforts, he can leave behind a legacy that encourages others to also give back as well. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.