Industry leaders in the country music community Lon Helton and Bill Mayne are the 2021 recipients of the prestigious Randy Owen Angels Among Us Award. The award was presented by Alabama lead-singer and co-founder of Country Cares, Randy Owen, who kick-started the beloved tradition of giving the award to others who have shown his spirit and exceptional dedication to the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: Finding cures. Saving children.®
Lon Helton, whose radio career began in 1971, has utilized his numerous high-profile industry platforms to support St. Jude since the start of the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids program. Helton was one of the earliest and most passionate St. Jude supporters during his time as Country Editor for Radio & Records Magazine, penning multiple stories imploring country radio to increase its involvement in St. Jude radiothons. As the host of Country Countdown USA, Helton has participated in radio fundraisers and various industry events, urging his nationwide audience to get more involved. Since establishing Country Aircheck in 2006, he has sustained his advocacy for patients at St. Jude with regular editorial content spotlighting important medical breakthroughs and St. Jude radiothon success stories.
Bill Mayne used his industry clout as head of Warner Bros to draw support when Country Cares for St. Jude Kids first launched and to grow interest and participation from every significant record label on Music Row. Mayne secured the first artist to attend the annual St. Jude event in the early 90s – the late Holly Dunn – and later Faith Hill among many other major stars, which inspired the tradition and culture of artist participation at this event. Mayne then continued his involvement with St. Jude while serving as Executive Director for Country Radio Broadcasters/Country Radio Seminar from 2009 to 2019, incorporating St. Jude directly into the annual curriculum and urging involvement in the radiothon program.
This recognition places Helton and Mayne among the ranks of nine past recipients, including namesake Randy Owen. Recipients also include 2020 award winners Florida Georgia Line and Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, John Rich, former ALSAC Chief Operating Officer David McKee (posthumously) and St. Jude Country Cares Advisory Board member, Sharon Eaves (posthumously). Both Helton and Mayne also received the 20-Year St. Jude Pioneers Award for their long-time support of St. Jude kids.
Cancer is a multi-trillion-dollar, multi-year problem, so support from the music community is crucial to helping St. Jude embark on its six-year, $11.5 billion strategic plan to triple its global investment and impact more of the 400,000 kids with cancer around the world each year. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food. Visit St. Jude Inspire to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and subscribing to its YouTube channel.
ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital