Alabama has achieved “billionaire” status.
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During Alabama’s show at Berglund Center Coliseum in Roanoke, Virginia on Friday (Dec. 9), Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry were surprised by opening act and longtime Alabama fan, Scotty McCreery, with a plaque commemorating the more than two billion streams they’ve received on the streaming platform Pandora.
“We are so thankful to our fans and listeners for playing our music for over 50 years,” Owen says in a statement. “Two billion is a big number. That means they like our music and want to hear it again and again. Thank you Pandora for the award.”
“The Pandora plaque was a nice surprise,” adds Gentry. “We thought a million plays was a very big deal but two billion plays of our songs puts it over the top. We appreciate Pandora and thanks for the award.”
“I’ve been a fan of ALABAMA all my life,” says McCreery, a fellow Pandora Billionaire plaque recipient. “It was an honor to open for them in Roanoke and then present the Pandora Billionaire plaque to Randy and Teddy later that night. It doesn’t get better than ALABAMA.”
The trio recently suffered a great loss with the death of their cousin and Alabama co-founder, Jeff Cook. He passed away peacefully at his home in Destin, Florida on November 7 after living with Parkinson’s disease for 10 years. Cook was a guitarist in the band for decades until retiring in 2018, one year after he publicly announced that he had Parkinson’s.
“Closer than brothers, we lived together more than with our immediate families,” Gentry shared in a statement at the time. “Don’t think I’ve known anyone who loved playing more. Jeff, along with me and Randy, experienced the highs of undreamed success, as well as some very tough early years. None of us were perfect, but together we had something so special it will never die. No other guitar player I’ve known had the range of styles Jeff had. No one can take your place. Ever. Rest in peace till we get to jam again.”
Owen and Gentry will continue on with live performances, with a handful of dates scheduled in 2023, including an appearance at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo on February 15.
Photo Courtesy of Absolute Publicity