Zac Brown Band isn’t letting John Driskell Hopkins’ ALS diagnosis stand in the way of onstage joy

Zac Brown Band is known for their immersive, high-energy live shows — and that’s not changing anytime soon, even though member John Driskell Hopkins is currently battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

In conversation with the Tennessean, ZBB’s Coy Bowles explains that the band is focusing on every second they get to play onstage with John.

“We can’t allow ourselves to think about [Hopkins’ ALS diagnosis] as a super-defining negative because we love him so much,” Coy explains. “So our mind frame around it has been focused on making the most of the fact that he’s still out there with us.”

The band has also been finding ways to use their connection to the degenerative disease for a good cause. In 2022, they played a sold-out benefit show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium to raise awareness of ALS and money for research toward a cure.

Now, ZBB is still rocking: They’re on the bill for New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash, which will air from Music City to ring in 2023.

“Humans gathering together to celebrate the power of music is exciting,” Coy adds. “We’re firing on all cylinders and probably having the best time [onstage] we’ve ever had.”

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