More than a dozen Hallmark stars attended the sixth annual Dance Party to End ALZ in Nashville on November 12, 2023. But some were almost unrecognizable, dressed as pop culture icons from the early 2000s, from Britney Spears to Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, raising money for Alzheimer’s research.
The Alzheimer’s Association fundraiser, created by Hallmark actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, was hosted this year by her sister, actress Ashley Williams, and her Hallmark co-star Nikki DeLoach. They gathered a large group of Hallmark stars to participate – some even sang and danced on stage – including Andrew Walker, Erin Cahill, Benjamin Ayres, Alicia Witt, Kristoffer Polaha, Ginna Claire Mason, Brooke D’Orsay, Cindy Busby and Sarah Drew.
The Hallmark crew partied late into the night, meeting at Williams-Paisley’s home after the event and singing with her husband, country star Brad Paisley.
Here’s what you need to know:
Hallmark stars wore costumes paying homage to pop culture icons from the early 2000s
A video recorded by actress Jen Lilley states that she she shared on her Instagram StoriesWilliams – dressed alongside DeLoach as a clownfish from “Finding Nemo” – told the audience of stars and fans how much their support meant after she lost her own mother to a form of Alzheimer’s in 2016. per Southern Living.
“I don’t know how to thank you,” Williams told the crowd. “I love each of you forever and ever. I’ll never forget that.”
Among the retro outfits worn in honor of the event’s theme, a tribute to early 2000s music, three Hallmark stars paid homage to pop star Spears.
“Baby One More Time” video.
“Christmas Island” star Walker had several costume changes throughout the night, starting with a blonde wig and striped shirt reminiscent of Nirvana’s lead singer Cobain. Later that evening, he donned a blue tracksuit to serve as a backup dancer for DeLoach, Williams and Cahill while Mason, a well-known Broadway star, performed Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”
Walker was photographed with Hallmark friends including actor and musician Paul Greene, director Ryan Murphy and Ayres, who wore a tank top with a retro “Mickey Mouse Club” photo featuring DeLoach in the ’90s was part of the cast for years.
Although the Alzheimer’s Association has yet to release official numbers from the evening, Walker, who served on the planning committee with Williams and DeLoach, told Heavy before the event that they had already far exceeded their original fundraising goal of $100,000.
Hallmark stars celebrated with music stars at Dance to End ALZ and after the show with Brad Paisley
After the fundraiser, a group of Hallmark stars gathered around the bar at Williams-Paisley’s home for a nightcap. Her Grammy-winning husband has a new album due out in early 2024. according to Varietyand led a singalong to one of the new tunes, as seen in an Instagram video posted by Ayres.
Ayres wrote: “Thank you @kimberlywilliamspaisley and @bradpaisley for welcoming us into your home very late at night and allowing us loud @hallmarkchannel people the experience of singing back-up vocals on your amazing new song 🎤.” 🥃 🎶”
The fundraiser featured several music stars performing and singing their own renditions of hits from the 2000s, including country singer Noah Thompson, who won “American Idol” in 2022.
According to one Instagram story shared Thompson, founded by the Alzheimer’s Association, told the crowd: “I have friends who have struggled with Alzheimer’s and it’s a terrible thing. “I’m just grateful to be a part of this night.”
Another “American Idol” alum, Melinda Doolittle, sang Beyonce’s hit single “Crazy in Love.” Married country singers Kylie Morgan and Jay Allen, who have been big supporters of the Alzheimer’s Association since Allen’s mother died of the disease, performed “Kryptonite” by Third Eye Blind. And rising country star MaRynn Taylor sang an Avril Lavigne song, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Meanwhile, in addition to Mason and Witt’s performances, other members of the Hallmark crew also sang on stage. Cahill’s musician husband Paul Freeman played “Mr. Brightside” and Greene sang the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”
Liv Lane is an entertainment writer who covers Hallmark Channel, HGTV, American Idol and The Voice for Heavy. She has three decades of experience as a local and national radio host, brand publicist and creative consultant, interviewing and working with a wide range of dignitaries and celebrities, from Deepak Chopra to Lil Nas X. Liv is also an accomplished watercolor artist whose intuitive art is practiced throughout the USA and Canada sold. Liv attended the University of Minnesota and lives in Minneapolis. More about Liv Lane
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