Brandi Cyrus may not know the little nuances of baseball, like the infield fly rule or what constitutes a triple play. But she’s willing to take the field for one of the annual traditions of CMA Music Festival in Nashville, the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game, Saturday, June 9th, at First Tennessee Park. That’s because the star-packed contest raises funds and awareness for City of Hope, an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.
Brandi isn’t the first Cyrus to hit the diamond for City of Hope. Her dad, country superstar Billy Ray Cyrus, often played in the game, and made an appearance in 2017 before suffering a hamstring injury. Brandi told “Sports and Entertainment Nashville” that she’s looking forward to joining her fellow celebrities in raising money for a great cause.
“The softball game’s goal is to strike out cancer, which is so cool,” says Cyrus. “Cancer is such an overwhelming thing to think about and it’s something that everybody wants a cure for. City of Hope is doing that. I think it’s great that they do this every single year. What a wonderful organization it is and I’m so proud to be helping them.”
With a wide smile Cyrus adds, “A lot of people that I know will be playing in the game. Lauren Alaina is somebody I’ve known for a while and she is such a doll. [Radio personality] Bobby Bones plays every year. It’s almost like a big reunion. That’s what is so cool about the country music industry. Everybody is really like a family.”
On this partly sunny Nashville afternoon, Cyrus is conducting her interview on the third base side of First Tennessee Park, home to Nashville’s AAA Minor League club, the Nashville Sounds. She admits to being a baseball novice, unlike her dad who played semi-pro ball for a time. “I have never played softball before,” she laughs. “However, I have taken a [batting] lesson and I’ll get a couple more before the game. My dad’s great at it and my brother [Trace] was also great at it. He played in school and I was forced to go watch his games every night,” Cyrus adds with another laugh. “But I feel like I’m going to be OK. Wherever they need me to play, that’s where I’ll be.” She says that her actual position on the field is “still to be determined.”
Brandi, a Nashville native and resident, has followed in the footsteps of her father and singing sister Miley in the world of entertainment. She serves as a full-time DJ and co-hosts “Your Favorite Thing Podcast” with TV/radio personality Wells Adams. Television fans also know Brandi from the Bravo interior design series “Cyrus vs. Cyrus: Design & Conquer,” where she competes against her mom Tish. “I started the DJ thing a couple years ago,” she says. “What I love about that is you’re really creating positive energy in a room. You’re helping people have a good time.”
She’ll surely bring that same positive energy to the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game. “It’s going to be fun,” she says with enthusiasm. “Dad always enjoyed playing in the game. Even though he got hurt last year, he had so much fun. I love to see him let loose and not be so serious all the time.”
Billy Ray isn’t scheduled to be on the roster this year. But the game certainly won’t lack for star power. Alaina, Lucas Hoge, Trent Harmon and Tegan Marie are among the top music stars competing for either iHeart Radio or the Grand Ole Opry teams. Pro athletes Jay Cutler and ex-Tennessee Titan Marc Mariani will also be taking their swings for this charitable cause. Naomi Judd will add to the fun as a guest play-by-play announcer.
The 28th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game will be played Saturday, June 9th, at First Tennessee Park in Nashville, beginning at 10 a.m. Office Depot is serving as a supporting sponsor. Tickets for the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game are still available through Ticketmaster. As always, 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit City of Hope.