Entertainment, On A High Note

Scott Hamilton hosts an evening of skating and music for cancer research

Photo by Michael Gomez - Gomez Photography

“An Evening With Scott Hamilton & Friends” was such a smash last year, the famed Olympic skater is bringing it back for 2017. The all-star spectacular, combining great music and the best in figure skating, comes to Bridgestone Arena, Sunday, Nov. 19th, at 5 p.m.

Joining Hamilton as co-host is former Olympic and three-time World Champion skater Peggy Fleming. On the musical front, Sheryl Crow headlines and welcomes a variety of top-name guests. Darius Rucker, Chris Young, Cassadee Pope, Bart Millard, Charles Esten from the hit TV series Nashville and legendary guitarist Steve Cropper are all on the bill. Fans will also be treated to spectacular dancing and skating routines by such national champions as Katia Gordeeva, Kurt Browning, Jeremy Abbott, and several others. “An Evening With Scott Hamilton & Friends” benefits the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation, dedicated to funding advanced, innovative cancer research. As many fans know, Hamilton is a cancer survivor.

Hamilton, who now lives in Franklin, Tenn., has hosted similar shows for the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where he has received past treatment. Last year, he decided to bring the unique show to Nashville. “We had some great artists last year, and the event went over so well,” Hamilton tells Sports & Entertainment Nashville. “A lot of elements have to come together and a lot of parts need to be assembled to put this on. I think the literal last piece is in place when the lights go on to start the show. But it is all worth it.”

Scott Hamilton and Sheryl Crow at the 2016 “Scott Hamilton & Friends” event. PHOTO BY RICK DIAMOND, GETTY IMAGES

There’s likely not a show in America that can top Hamilton’s for true family entertainment. You could almost paraphrase the famous line by Jerry Seinfeld’s mother on the Seinfeld sitcom: “How could anybody not like this?” Hamilton gets a chuckle at the comparison, but does note that “family-friendly” is the aim of the show. “Everything I do is an open invitation to the entire family,” Hamilton says. “We want all members of the family to come. This is a wonderful show that everyone can enjoy. It’s just a great marriage of music and figure skating.”

Crow, a cancer survivor herself, is a longtime friend of Hamilton’s and is participating in the event for the second straight year. “She is the music department and I’m the sports department,” Hamilton laughs. Rucker, making his inaugural appearance on the show, is also a close buddy. “I met Darius in 1985, at a golf tournament for VH-1,” Hamilton recalls. “At that time, Hootie & the Blowfish was exploding on the scene. I have seen him over the years and it will be fun to share the stage with him. He is a great supporter of St. Jude and other cancer treatment organizations. And we’re also pleased to have Peggy Fleming, who is a cancer survivor, with us this year.”

Hamilton has battled cancer for several years, and announced that he had received his third brain tumor diagnosis last year. But as of this past March, the tumor had shrunk and Hamilton continues to improve through diet and his always-positive attitude. He has become a vocal activist for cancer research and methods of early detection. “I am doing very well,” he says with enthusiasm. “The main thing I am focusing on now is the CARES Foundation. We are bringing the future of cancer treatment to new levels. It’s great to see all this happening.”

“An Evening With Scott Hamilton & Friends” takes place Sunday, Nov. 19th, at Bridgestone Arena at 5 p.m. Fans who order tickets through Ticketmaster may enter the promo code #4PACK to receive a special offer: Buy 3 and get the fourth ticket free.

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