The Band Perry shook Jackson's Thalia Mara Hall on Sunday evening with a roaring country concert to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research at UMMC’s Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Center.
The event raised funds for the MIND Center, which will support researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center who are investigating the many factors contributing to Alzheimer’s and other diseases that degrade cognitive function.
Featuring songs from their new album, Pioneer, The Band Perry played an hour-and-a-half show for a sell-out crowd of 2,366 that included Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott and former Miss. Gov. William Winter.
During the concert, lead singer Kimberly Perry spoke about her family’s experience with Alzheimer’s and her belief that The Band Perry can use its influence to shine a spotlight on issues needing attention.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death among American adults and the fifth among adults 65 and older, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. This number has doubled since 1980, and is expected to be as high as 16 million by 2050.
In 2011, total Medicare and Medicaid spending for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated at $130 billion, the CDC and Alzheimer’s Association report.
While no cure exists for Alzheimer’s and related dementias, researchers internationally are making headway in identifying risk factors for the disease and developing drugs to treat its effects.
Founded in 2010, the MIND Center seeks to better understand the complex interplay between genetics, lifestyle choices like diet and smoking, environment and other factors that put people at risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“We’re very thankful to The Band Perry for their performance, the attention they bring to this important issue and the work we’re doing to address it,” said Dr. Thomas Mosley, MIND Center director and UMMC professor of medicine. “The funds raised at the concert will help us carry on our mission.”
The Hon. John N. Palmer, former U.S. ambassador to Portugal who chairs the MIND Center’s advisory board, addressed the crowd before the concert and thanked the event’s sponsors.
Those include title sponsor Trustmark National Bank, presenting sponsors Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, Donna and Jim Barksdale, and Kristie and David Nutt, plus 16 sponsors and 96 additional hosts.
Since releasing their self-titled debut album in 2010, The Band Perry ascended to dizzying heights. Fronted by Kimberly Perry and rounded out by her younger brothers Neil and Reid, the band has notched a string of hit singles, including the quadruple platinum “If I Die Young,” which climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Country and AC charts, the platinum “You Lie,” and the Country No. 1 “All Your Life.”
They’ve also enjoyed sold out tours and a showering of honors, including multiple ACM, CMA, and CMT Music awards, as well as Grammy, Teen Choice, AMA, ACA, and Billboard Music award nominations — all of which has cemented the sibling trio as one of the hottest acts in recent history.