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Country star Brad Paisley speaks of delivering 1.5 million food parcels to elderly during pandemic

The singer also spoke of performing on Zoom after his shows were cancelled

Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams

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Eddie RowleySunday World

AMERICAN country music superstar Brad Paisley reveals how running a free food store in the pandemic and performing on Zoom helped him cope with the shock of having all his shows cancelled.

Set to play Dublin’s 3Arena on July 16, Paisley admits he was devastated when he learned that the entertainment business was being shut down as Covid-19 swept through the world.

The singer, who is also regarded as one of the most exciting guitar players in country music, remembers performing his song, Last Time For Everything, as the curtain came down on live shows.

“That song is about making the most of every opportunity because you never know when it will be taken away,” Brad says as we chat over Zoom.

“I remember singing it on the night when they were shutting everything down. I had a concert in Canada and singing at that concert I was thinking, ‘When am I ever going to see this again?’

“I did my best throughout the first part of the pandemic. I found very quickly what Zoom was and was able to connect with fans that way, which I desperately needed.

“This technology (Zoom) is one thing that allowed me to stay sane because the music industry was a very strange place. It was very hard to understand what was happening and we didn’t know what our future would look like. I didn’t know when I would see you guys again and be able to come back over.”

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Prior to the pandemic, Paisley and his actress wife, Kimberly, had been involved in setting up a free food store in Nashville for people struggling to make ends meet.

They then turned it into a free delivery service for the elderly around the Nashville area at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and with a team of volunteers distributed 1.5 million food parcels to their doors.

“The feeling of helplessness I felt the day they cancelled all our concerts was a very dark hole to climb out of, but within a week or two of seeing what we had created and how we were helping people kept me sane,” Brad reveals.

Despite their success and the wealth that has come with it, Paisley and Kimberly are among the most down to earth couples in showbusiness. The devoted pair, who have two teenage sons, first met on a video shoot. Brad reveals that he had seen Kimberly starring in Father of the Bride and thought, ‘She seems like a great girl — smart and funny and all those things that are hard to find.’

The besotted star then cast her in a video for his song, I’m Gonna Miss Her, and the pair hit it off. Kimberly, who also starred in the Nashville TV series, joked: “He stalked me.”

The couple have two sons, Huck (15) and Jasper (13), and the doting dad says that he and Kimberly strive to keep them on the straight and narrow.

“We’re trying our best to raise two boys that don’t have issues of the silver spoon in the mouth.

“We’ve had to teach them how to handle it and they now understand it,” Brad says,

“It’s been a challenge, but I’m happy with who they are so far. I think they are better people than I am.”

Brad Paisley plays Dublin’s 3Arena on Saturday, July 16.

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