2018 Parade Appearances & Performances

Abby James Witherspoon

Abby James Witherspoon is an actress whose career began as a young child in theatrical productions in and near her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. She made her on screen debut in Hot Pursuit (2015). Abby James will soon be seen in Every Other Holiday alongside Schuyler Fisk and Dee Wallace which premiers on the Lifetime Channel in November, 2018. She is the co-host JiffPom’s Unboxing YouTube Channel, and featured in NYTimes best-selling book, Whiskey in a Teacup. “AJ” studies at The Nashville Acting Studio and is active in the Nashville Theater Community appearing in plays with Nashville Theater School, The Theater Bug, and Studio Tenn.

As a student at Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Abby James has received awards in city-wide forensics competitions, is a member of the competitive advanced choir, and has performed with Harding Academy School of Dance for eight years.

Abby James loves the beach, watching movies that make her cry, and hanging out with friends. Los Angeles is her happy place. Abby James hopes to attend college in LA and pursue her career there as well. Besides her passion for acting, dancing, and singing, AJ hopes to become a role model for young girls and women around the world who are committed to reaching for a dream.


The cute couple, who perform as Ashlee + Evan, have been releasing songs leading up to the EP and rounded out the six track collection with a new song titled “I Do.”

“We’ve put so much love into this!! I hope you love listening to our new #AshleeandEvan EP!” Ashlee wrote on her Instagram.

Ashlee and Evan also announced an eight city tour starting in January of next year!

Benton Blount

Country artist Benton Blount is a singer songwriter hailing from Greenville, South Carolina. He is currently working in Los Angeles with Grammy-nominated music producer Martin Guigui at Studio 606 and expected to release his new album early 2019.

Known for his strong vocal ability, Benton was a top 10 finalist on America’s Got Talent in the 2015 season. Since his success on the show, he has been touring the country, playing more than 150 shows per year. Benton has sold over 100,000 albums and performed shows with a long list of top artists ranging from Zac Brown Band to Dolly Parton. He most recently finished up a successful tour this November with rock/blues legend Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Matt Sorum (Guns&Roses/Velvet Revolver/The Cult), and Austin Hanks!

Bill Anderson

Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry titan Bill Anderson is the rare songwriter whose first major label cut went to No. 1 on the charts, was named Song of The Year and sparked a writing career that is currently in its seventh decade. The song, "City Lights," was written when Anderson was a 19-year old Georgia disc jockey and became a career-defining hit for Ray Price in 1958. The song opened doors for him in Nashville, leading him to signing with BMI and Tree Publishing. Anderson was far from a one-hit wonder. He followed "City Lights" with country standards like "Tips Of My Fingers," the GRAMMY-nominated "Once A Day," "Saginaw, Michigan," "That's What It's Like To Be Lonesome," "I Missed Me," "Cold Hard Facts Of Life," which earned him another GRAMMY nomination, "Mama Sang A Song," the crossover smash, "Still," and countless others.

He was voted country Songwriter of the Year six times during his first decade in Music City. His success continued into the 1970’s with award-winning hits like "Slippin' Away," "The Lord Knows I'm Drinking," "I May Never Get To Heaven," and the disco-flavored, "I Can't Wait Any Longer." The 1980’s saw Anderson's chart-topping career take a hiatus as he became a TV network game show host, spokesman for a national restaurant chain and a nonstop touring Grand Ole Opry performer. In the 1990’s he came roaring back with a vengeance, however, as he seriously turned to co-writing for the first time. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, his collaborations with the newer generation of Nashville tunesmiths resulted in hits like "Wish You Were Here," the GRAMMY-nominated "Two Teardrops," "A Lot Of Things Different," for Kenny Chesney, "Which Bridge To Cross (Which Bridge To Burn)," for Vince Gill and two CMA Song Of The Year trophies for "Whiskey Lullaby," with Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and George Strait’s "Give It Away," in 2005 and 2007 respectfully. He continues to write today with songs like Brad Paisley’s "Dying To See Her.”

Craig Wayne Boyd

Craig Wayne Boyd is just getting started.

Sure, he’s already drawn a large and loyal following. Thousands thrilled to his victory in Season 7 of The Voice. That right there is more than most performers could even dream of.

But with release of his new album, Top Shelf, Boyd goes way beyond that platform to a place that even his fans might not have anticipated. Confident delivery, upbeat personality, deep country soul, and easy charisma - this is all still there.

What’s changed is that these qualities aren’t the whole picture. Rather, they’re the foundation of all the qualities that make Craig Wayne unique among today’s young artists of any genre. Top Shelf is a musical kaleidoscope - a whirl of celebration, heartbreak, the sweet pain of love, and the comfort of faith’s embrace. Start with the producer. After relocating from Miami to Nashville, Will Edwards crossed paths with Craig Wayne through a mutual friend. Both sensed that working together could kindle some interesting results.

From the buoyant “Stuck In My Head” to the dirty sound of “We Sweat,” Boyd presents himself as an artist of complex dimension, never satisfied with repeating himself but always true to his roots. Whether you’re discovering him now or already onboard, Top Shelf marks the real start of a trek toward beckoning horizons. He will never stop exploring and adventuring.

This journey will be — already is — worth it on its own.

Diana DeGarmo

With an amazing range and vocal prowess far beyond her years, Diana DeGarmo gained overnight fame as a runner-up on the third season of television's No. 1 series, 'American Idol.' Such high-profile exposure opened the door for DeGarmo's first radio single 'Dreams,' from her full-length RCA label debut Blue Skies, which claimed the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. DeGarmo has also conquered the Great White Way, starring as Penny Pingleton in Broadway’s "Hairspray" and as Brooklyn in the first national tour of "Brooklyn: The Musical." She also starred as Dorothy in the first national tour of "Oz," and in "Back to Bacharach and David" at the Music Box at Fonda in Los Angeles. She most recently took the stage as The Narrator in Lyric Theater's production of "Joseph and the Amazing technicolor Dreamcoat." The talented singer's television credits include ABC TV's "Walt Disney World Christmas Parade," as well as NBC-TV's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and CMT's reality series "Gone Country." DeGarmo is also a proud supporter of our American Troops, touring overseas with the USO and 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace.

Cast from the General Jackson

See cast members perform a number from their holiday evening cruise!

One of the largest showboats ever built, the grand General Jackson is an elegant triumph of American ingenuity. With its elegant lacy filigree and stately design, the boat is reminiscent of the opulence of the American Victorian era.

Showboats have long been a colorful part of our nation’s history, and this most unique Nashville attraction epitomizes the grace and grandeur of the Old South.

Jamie O'Neal

A seasoned entertainer, Jamie O'Neal became a household name in 2000 with her back to back No. 1 singles, “There Is No Arizona" and "When I Think About Angels." With multiple hits that followed like "Shiver," "Tryin' To Find Atlantis" and "Somebody's Hero," O'Neal's path to stardom was on fire, earning numerous career accolades, including four Grammy nominations, winning ACM and Billboard Awards, and appeared on numerous national television shows such as Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman and many others.

Janice Gaines

Janice Gaines already has Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell, Donnie McClurkin, Natalie Grant and Donald Lawrence co-signing her skills. That says quite a lot. But even without these mega-talents in her corner, Gaines is guaranteed to hook you from the very first listen. Gifted with an effervescent soprano that soars into the rafters and an ear for soul-baring lyrics, Gaines is Motown Gospel’s next-generation game changer. Her refreshing yet fearless artistry—a daring fusion of mainstream and inspiration —reverberates with jubilant determination. “Just because you love Jesus, you don’t have to put yourself in a box,” declares the former seventh grade math teacher who’s also a fan of top 40 radio, urban AC and love songs. “It’s not the easiest life to be a Christian in today’s culture, but I’ve found different ways to deliver life-changing messages through an urban pop sound and lyrics that explain my heart. Is it a risk? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, I can only truly be me.”

“The best thing I have to feed people,” says Gaines, “is what has fed me the most: what God has said to me through the Bible and personal experience. My goal is simply to make music that will have you feeling good from the start. Then you’re hooked.”

Jason Crabb

In his career, Kentucky-born Jason Crabb has won a GRAMMY and 21 Dove Awards – being named the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards Artist and Male Vocalist of the Year along with Song of the Year.

Crabb’s electrifying stage presence, powerhouse vocals and magnetic personality have endeared him to millions across the world – through extensive personal appearances, media coverage, and social media including over 20 million views on YouTube.

Since his first solo release in 2009, Jason Crabb has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious stages such as Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry, the Brooklyn Tabernacle and Billy Graham’s final crusade in NYC. He has also shared the stage with artists such as Gloria Gaynor, Kari Jobe, Vince Gill, Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell, Donnie McClurkin, Wynonna, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Michael W. Smith, Jamie Grace, Sandi Patty, the Oak Ridge Boys and more. He has appeared on NBC’s "Celebrity Apprentice" and alongside Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson.

Crabb has been featured and covered by many media outlets as well – including: People Magazine, Fox News, Country Living, The Huffington Post, Billboard, USA Today, Entertainment Tonight, and Country Weekly, among others, and was named one of Nashville’s Most Beautiful People by Nashville Lifestyles Magazine. Crabb is also frequently seen on television hosting on TBN, appearing on awards shows and television specials for a variety of networks.

And, he even has a road named after him. Crabb’s hometown of Beaver Dam, KY recently named the road adjacent to the new amphitheater after him - “Jason Crabb Drive.”

Whatever the Road, Jason’s 2015 release, was nominated for a GRAMMY® for Best Contemporary Christian Album.

Unexpected, Crabb's latest project, was released on April 20, 2018. The project was produced by Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts) and features Gary LeVox (Rascal Flatts) and Kaya Jones.

Kendall Pasley, Miss Nashville 2018

Kendall Pasley is in her first year of graduate school pursuing a Master of Digital Strategy at the University of Florida. She is a graduate of The University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

Kendall represented the city of Nashville at The Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant in Jackson in June where she was a top 10 semi-finalist. Originally from Memphis, Kendall is now living in Florida where she is pursuing her Master’s degree. She is also working as a model and can be found on the cover of several different magazines this year including Boating Magazine and Fitness & Health Magazine.

LeAnn Rimes

LeAnn Rimes is an internationally multi-platinum selling acclaimed singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter. The two-time Grammy award winner released her 16th studio RCA UK/Thirty Tigers album, Remnants in 2017. The album debuted at # 4 on Billboard’s Independent Album Chart and peaked at #3 on iTunes ® overall charts in its first week and garnered two #1 Billboard Dance hits with “Long Live Love”, “LovE is LovE is LovE” and one Top 5 hit with “Love Line”. She recently revealed a new EP for her fans titled Re-Imagined that features five new versions of some of her record-breaking hits including an epic duet with the music icon Stevie Nicks. Additionally, Rimes will be lighting up the television screens this holiday season, starring and serving as an Executive Producer in a new original Hallmark Christmas movie, “It’s Christmas, Eve” set to premiere on November 10, 2018. As a companion piece to the film, on October 12, 2018 Thirty Tigers records will release It’s Christmas, Eve holiday soundtrack featuring Rimes that includes new original “soon-to-be classic” holiday songs that the songstress created specifically for the movie.

London Hibbs, Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2019

London will embark on a whirlwind journey that will take her all over the country during her year of service as Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2019. She will educate audiences about her platform "Check YES 4 Life!” as the National Teen Spokesperson for Donate Life America, and act as the official National Teen Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals. Sixty-two children enter a Children's Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute. London will work passionately to promote this worthwhile organization along with the triumphs of its miracle children, their parents, and the hospitals’ doctors and staff. CMNH is the national platform partner of the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Organization.

Mallory Ervin, Miss Kentucky 2009

Mallory Ervin was born and raised in rural Kentucky, the oldest of 23 first cousins who all grew up on the same farm. As a young girl she grew up singing country music. Her talent and love for the stage brought her to Nashville at an early age then on to obtain a theatre degree at Sewanee: The University of the South. In 2009 she was crowned Miss Kentucky and was runner up in Miss America in 2010. She then was a contestant on 3 seasons of CBS' The Amazing Race with her father Gary. She has hosted several television shows, travel shows and red carpets and was recently named one of Nashville's 25 Most Beautiful People. She started a blog and a YouTube channel with over half a million people following along across her platforms. She and her husband Kyle started vlogging (video blogs) their everyday on YouTube a couple years ago and share their everyday life with their followers. They recently had a baby boy, Ford, who is 7 months old and they love sharing their life in Nashville as a family of 3 with their many followers an

Mark Schultz

Platinum-selling, Dove Award-winning Mark Schultz is set to release his first-ever, full-length Christmas album Oct. 26. Aptly titled Christmas, the 10-track recording from Lucid Artist will be available on CD exclusively at LifeWay Christian Stores, is available to preorder now at iTunes and will be available at all other major digital and streaming retail outlets internationally.

Making its much-anticipated debut on Christmasis Schultz’s epic anthem, “Different Kind of Christmas,” a moving tribute to his late father-in-law. He originally released the single in 2014 and it not only shot up to No. 1 on the iTunes Christian & Gospel Songs chart, but his Facebook video of the song also went viral, reaching over 69 million people and receiving more than 27 million views and nearly 3 million reactions, comments and shares to date.

“This is a special song for me and my family,” shares Schultz. “I wrote it with my wife after her dad passed away. It was our first Christmas without him, and Kate was decorating for the holidays. She came into the garage holding a box of ornaments and had tears streaming down her face. She said to me, ‘it’s just a different kind of Christmas this year.’

Mary Humphrey, 2018 Miss Tennessee’s Outstanding Teen

Mary Humphrey is the 2018 Miss Tennessee’s Outstanding Teen and volunteers with her platform of "Pages with a Purpose", improving literacy. She represented our state at the Miss America's Outstanding Teen competition in Orlando and was recognized as a top 5 for "Teens in Action". Mary is a Junior and honor student at Warren County High School where she is Key Club Vice-President, Select Choir member, Student Advisory delegate and a Varsity Dancer. Mary's also performs in community theatre and volunteers for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. She was selected for the Rockettes and Joffrey intensives in New York and dances ballet en pointe. She will be a student performer in the Dec 30th Moscow Ballet Nutcracker in Chattanooga.

Morgan Frazier

Morgan Frazier moved to Nashville from West Texas in 2008. She signed a recording deal With Curb Records at age 15. And started playing at Tootsies during the day time hours. And later on moved to late night shifts Where she still performs 4 nights a week with her Husband David Ray who she met at Tootsies when they sang together on Sunday nights. Her Husband just wrote his First number one song “I was Jack” by Jake Owen. Morgan has also opened shows for people like Luke Bryan Miranda Lambert and many more. She was also was on the NBC hit Tv show the Voice in 2015 on Blake Shelton's team and made it all the way to the Top 20. She is now in a duo called Roxan and working on a new EP coming out next year!

Nashville in Harmony

"The Nashville in Harmony's mission is to use music to build community and create social change. As Tennessee’s first and only musical arts organization specifically created for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and their allies, we're proud to bring a unique style and voice to the Nashville arts scene by performing a wide variety of music that inspires people to make a difference in the world."

Savana Hodge, Miss Tennessee 2019

Savana Hodge is a 25-year-old engineering professional from Knoxville, Tennessee. She graduated from Maryville High School with honors in 2012 before moving to Nashville to attend Belmont University. Hodge graduated Belmont in 2016 and earned her B.A. in International Business with concentrations in marketing and Spanish. Her degree and love for a challenge landed her with a prestigious international engineering firm in Nashville. Hodge has always been a goal oriented individual and believes that with confidence and determination, anything is possible. Hodge realized her great interest in public service when she served as a Page for the United States House of Representatives in 2011. This experience gave her the opportunity to learn from our country’s greatest leaders and build on her repertoire of skills.

In her spare time, Hodge enjoys an eclectic list of hobbies including beekeeping, tennis, golf, calligraphy, ballroom dancing, and cooking. Hodge and her family have deep roots in Tennessee, and have owned businesses in the Knoxville area for over 50 years. Hodge’s official platform as Miss Tennessee USA 2019 is executing her mantra “Our Time is Now” by volunteering and partnering with organizations that focus on children, teens, and adults. Hodge said she is honored to serve the state of Tennessee and plans to use this opportunity to encourage and influence others to be a leader in every arena of life.

Street Corner Symphony

Street Corner Symphony is a contemporary a cappella group based out of Nashville, Tennessee, founded on 28 May 2010 to compete in NBC's all-vocal competition, The Sing-Off. These southern gents quickly won over Sing-Off judges Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five), Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men), and Nicole Scherzinger (The Pussycat Dolls), and--most importantly--millions of NBC primetime viewers after demonstrating their unique, laid-back-yet-dynamic style of a cappella. Since their success on The Sing-Off, Street Corner Symphony has made their mark on the music world, recording albums, providing clinics for schools, giving benefits for cancer, performing across the country and around the world, and even working with major artists including Ben Folds, Alison Krauss, and Take 6's Claude McKnight.

The five members of the group all hail from Nashville TN and include brothers, Jeremy and Jonathan Lister. Street Corner Symphony moves seamlessly between most styles of music, feeling at home in all of them. Their repertoire covers a wide range, from gospel and barbershop to rock and pop, appealing to the young and old alike.

Sarah Potenza

After spending seven years with her band Sarah & The Tall Boys, Sarah Potenza relocated to Nashville, Tennessee with not much more than her husband and her monster vocals. That coupled with her honest reflective songwriting she quickly garnered the attention of the city’s thriving music scene and she became a staple at the world renowned Bluebird Café and the globally broadcast Music City Roots program.

One of her performances on Music City Roots resulted in a phone call from the NBC television show, The Voice. Potenza took the challenge in stride and managed to land a four chair turn and out of 50,000 contestants, she made it to the top twenty!

Her passion for performing and undeniable voice resonated with America and made her a fan favorite across the country. Nashville welcomed her home with pride and celebrated her authentic, heart-felt songwriting with a sold out show at the Bluebird Cafe and her debut on the Grand Ole Opry.

Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders

Founded in 1999, after the franchise moved from Houston, the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders are a dynamic group of 27 women who hail from 11 different states across the U.S. Each year, in addition to cheering for their Titans on the sidelines every Sunday, they participate in more than 200 events in middle Tennessee and beyond, including serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Nashville Rescue Mission and joining the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in their annual Light the Night Walk.

With Fort Campbell and the 101 st Airborne Division of the United States Army only 30 miles away, supporting the military is a cornerstone of the Titans Cheerleaders efforts in the community. Over the last decade, the Cheerleaders have dazzled military audiences across four continents. The ladies have also made appearances on the Oprah Show as well as the Dr. Oz Show and performed on-stage in Music City with Florida-Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, and Travis Tritt among others.

Aside from performing at Nissan Stadium and around the world, the Cheerleaders are successful in their professional careers as well; the 2018 team boasts one doctorate, three master’s degrees and 20 bachelor’s degrees. The women work in careers spanning from education to health care to public relations. They are ambitious and work to pursue excellence both in their careers and on the sidelines.

Whether it’s on the field at a game or visiting a child in the hospital, the Titans Cheerleaders proudly serve as the Titans ambassadors, spreading excitement for their team and heartfelt enthusiasm from the sidelines and across the globe.

Ty Herndon

Like many new country singers of the mid-'90s, Ty Herndon fused neo-traditionalist country with a slick, rock-oriented sense of style and production. Like many of his contemporaries, his blend of genres proved commercially successful, and his first album became one of the biggest hits of 1995. Herndon was a little wilder, at least off the stage, than many of his peers, but his records had a down-to-earth sense of sentimentality that initially gave him a broad fan base.

Born in Meridian, Mississippi and raised in Butler, Alabama, Herndon became involved in music as he was growing up. He sang gospel music and learned how to play piano. After he graduated from high school, he moved to Nashville. Initially, he had a difficult time gaining a foothold in the music industry, spending ten years without making any real headway. Herndon left the Music City and headed to Texas, where he began slogging it out in local honky tonks, developing a dedicated following of fans. In 1993, he won the Texas Entertainer of the Year. Later that year, he signed to Epic Records.

Herndon's first single, "What Mattered Most," hit number one in the spring of 1995. An album of the same name was released in April and became a Top Ten country hit. His second single, "I Want My Goodbye Back," became a number seven hit. The world was seemingly in his hands, but his first year of stardom was a difficult one, as he was arrested for drug possession on June 13, 1995, in Fort Worth, Texas. Nevertheless, the arrest didn't halt his career. His third single, "Heart Half Empty," was a hit, and Herndon's second album, Living in a Moment, debuted at number six upon its summer 1996 release. Big Hopes followed two years later, and in 1999 Herndon resurfaced with Steam. This Is Ty Herndon: Greatest Hits arrived in 2002, followed by a collection of Christmas songs (Not So Silent Night) in 2004 and a new album (Right About Now) in 2006. After that record, Herndon moved to the FUNL Music indie, releasing Journey On, his first album for the label, in 2001, and followed it with Lies I Told Myself in 2013 and House on Fire in 2016.

Plus many more!