USO entertainers raked in nominations and wins at the 50th Annual ACM Awards last night and the MTV Movie Awards last weekend. Here’s a look at the USO performers and supporters who were recognized for their performance.
MTV Movie Awards
Bradley Cooper Best Male Performance; Nominated and won
Bradley Cooper traveled to Cuba, Kuwait, Afghanistan for the USO and also took part in a seven-day USO tour with then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen in 2010.
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Channing Tatum Best Comedic Performance; Nominated and won
Earlier this year, actors Channing Tatum, Adam Rodriguez and Nick Zano took a six-day USO handshake tour to visit troops in Afghanistan. During his inaugural visit, Tatum visited seven bases and spent time with more than 1,500 troops, including these folks from Oregon.
“My trip with the USO was a once-in-a-lifetime window into the sacrifice and duty that these brave soldiers and their families devote every day to,” said Tatum, whose “Magic Mike XXL” will hit theaters this summer. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the experience. Safe travels home and until then, keep holding it down there and in every other place that flies the stars and stripes.”
Scarlett Johansson Best Female Performance; Nominated Best Kiss; Nominated
In 2008, Johansson visited troops during a USO tour to the Persian Gulf.
“This USO tour to the Gulf region truly means a lot,” Johansson said in a press release. “I’ve wanted to go over and visit for some time, and now my moment has arrived. It’s one thing to reply to a letter or extend your thanks to service members in a speech, but it’s another thing to visit them and spend time with those that do so much for us back home.”
Robert Downey Jr. Recipient of MTV Generation Award
After starring in Tropic Thunder, Downey visited Camp Pendleton, California, in 2008 for a special USO screening of the film with co-stars Ben Stiller and Jack Black.
50th Annual ACM Awards
[caption id=“attachment_12729” align=“alignright” width=“750”] Country music artist Dierks Bentley performs during the USO/ACM Lifting Lives concert at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV, April 17, 2010. USO Photo by Fred Greaves[/caption]
Dierks Bentley Male Vocalist of the Year; Nominated Album of the Year (Riser); Nominated Song of the Year (“I Hold On”); Nominated Single Record of the Year (“Drunk on a Plane”); Nominated Video of the Year (“Drunk on a Plane”); Nominated and won Vocal Event of the Year (“The South” with Florida Georgia Line and Mike Eli); Nominated
Bentley performed for military families at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas in 2010 as part of the first USO/ACM Lifting Lives concert.
Luke Bryan Entertainer of the Year; Nominated and won Male Vocalist of the Year; Nominated Song of the Year (“Drink a Beer”); Nominated Vocal Event of the Year (“This Is How We Roll” with Florida Georgia Line); Nominated and won
[caption id=“attachment_12728” align=“alignright” width=“710”] Members of Little Big Town perform for fans at the second annual Academy of Country Music/USO concert event at Nellis Air Force Base April 2, 2011. USO Photo by Fred Greaves[/caption]
Little Big Town Vocal Group of the Year; Nominated Album of the Year (Painkiller); Nominated Best Country Duo/Group Performance (“Day Drinking”) ; Nominated
In 2014, Little Big Town performed for troops and the Virginia Beach, Virginia, community as part of the city’s Patriotic Festival, which coincided with the USO’s inaugural Warrior Week.
The group also performed for troops and their families at a free concert in 2011 hosted by The Academy of Country Music and the USO for military members and their families at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
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Brad Paisley Male Vocalist of the Year; Nominated
Brad Paisley entertained over 1,200 troops and their families at the July 4, 2012, “Salute to the Military” event at the White House. Paisley has also spent time visiting wounded service members at hospitals and a burn unit at the San Antonio Military Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in 2007.
“I’m a big believer in the power of motivation and I see the USO as something that has existed to boost the morale of our fighting men and women since before I was born,” Paisley said in a 2012 interview.
“We are talking about the people responsible for our freedom. And their job is VERY hard. So I think back to Bob Hope, telling jokes and adding sunshine in the middle of wartime devastation and it occurs to me that you can’t underestimate what that did for those brave souls.”
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Rascal Flatts Vocal Group of the Year; Nominated
In August 2005, Rascal Flatts headed on a USO tour to entertain troops stationed in the Persian Gulf. During their visit, the trio also signed autographs and took photographs with service members.
“We’re here because we want our service members to know we’re proud of what they are doing, and that we’re deeply grateful for their dedication and sacrifice,” said lead singer Gary LeVox in a 2005 interview with the Air Force. “We are offering our music as a way to show our gratitude for what they do.”
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Blake Shelton Vocal Event of the Year (“Lonely Tonight” with Ashley Monroe); Nominated Male Vocalist of the Year; Nominated
In 2014, Shelton helped kick off a new partnership between jcpenney’s philanthropic arm, jcp cares, and the USO with a sold-out concert at the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena in Watertown, New York. Three hundred complimentary concert tickets were donated for troops and their families by jcpenney.
“Supporting the USO is second nature to me,” Shelton said in a 2012 interview. “My dad was a Korean War veteran. My brother was a veteran of the Army. It’s a charity that’s near and dear to my heart.”
The Band Perry Vocal Group of the Year; Nominated
In 2014, The Band Perry performed at their first USO show at Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the United Kingdom, entertaining over 1,000 military family members.
“They were such a responsive audience, and that’s what we love most about playing shows, is whenever the crowds are crazy and are singing along,” Neil Perry said in a 2014 USO story. “It was just fun having all the families there.”
The Swon Brothers Vocal Duo of the Year; Nominated
In 2014, the Swon Brothers, along with Jana Kramer, entertained troops at a special USO concert at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
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Carrie Underwood Vocal Event of the Year (“Somethin’ Bad” with Miranda Lambert); Nominated Female Vocalist of the Year; Nominated Video of the Year (“Something’ Bad” with Miranda Lambert); Nominated
Carrie Underwood travelled overseas with the USO to entertain troops during the 2006 holiday season.
[caption id=“attachment_2131” align=“alignright” width=“750”] Zac Brown gets up close and personal with troops during a USO show in Mosul, Iraq, on April 16, 2010. USO Photo by Erick Anderson[/caption]
Zac Brown Band Vocal Group of the Year; Nominated
The Zac Brown Band is a long-time supporter of the USO.
In 2008, Brown traveled on his inaugural USO tour as part of the the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USO Holiday tour. A year later, he performed with his band at the USO Fort Hood Community Strong event in 2009.
In 2010, the band traveled overseas to entertain troops in the Persian Gulf, where they also recorded their music video for their hit single, “Free.”