Rebuilding Tennessee Telethon Attendee Tests Positive For COVID-19

Last week, CMT and Nashville’s WSMV News4 partnered with the American Red Cross to host the Rebuilding Nashville Telethon to…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 11, 2020


8:05 am

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Last week, CMT and Nashville’s WSMV News4 partnered with the American Red Cross to host the Rebuilding Nashville Telethon to raise funds for those affected by the deadly tornadoes that tore through Middle Tennessee. It has now been revealed that someone who attended the telethon has tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus.

Blanco Brown, Cassadee Pope, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley & Dave Haywood, Devin Dawson, Gavin DeGraw, Kalie Shorr, Kid Rock, Sam Palladio, Sarah Darling, Travis Denning, Whitney Duncan were among the artists who joined CMT’s Cody Alan and WSMV’s Tom Reynolds at the CMT Studios in downtown Nashville to answer phones and encourage support of tornado relief efforts. Big Machine President/CEO Scott Borchetta was also in attendance.

In a statement obtained by All Access, CMT reacted to the news, sharing that employees who attended the event would be required to work at home for two weeks.

“Last night, we learned that an external attendee at a March 5th fundraiser for tornado relief efforts at the CMT Studios in our Nashville office has tested positive for COVID-19. We immediately closed the office for a deep cleaning to fully sanitize the entire building and we will re-open tomorrow [March 11],” the statement reads. “Out of an abundance of caution, we’re requiring team members who were at the fundraiser to work from home for two weeks. In addition, we’re encouraging everyone else to take advantage of our work-from-home policy for the remainder of this week. Our employees’ safety and well-being are a top priority, and we are following the guidance of local public health authorities to help provide support and real time updates.”

According to a report by Scoop Nashville, WSMV confirmed that six employees will be self-quarantining for the next two weeks.

Country Now is awaiting responses from several artists’ teams regarding the possible COVID-19 exposure.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.