October 28, 2021

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Parmalee Surprise Healthcare Workers in Celebration of New No. 1


Parmalee and Blanco Brown’s recent No. 1 single “Just the Way” celebrates someone’s beauty “just the way God made [them].” After the song topped the charts, though, Parmalee found a way to salute some especially deserving women for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parmalee and their team reached out to hospitals in Nashville, Denver, Chicago and elsewhere to find deserving staff members to honor. Each person selected chatted with Parmalee via video and received jewelry from Kendra Scott.

“Being able to tell these honorees that we were appreciative was one thing, but being able to tell these nurses that their hospital administrators had nominated them for this meant even more,” Parmalee lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Thomas shares. “We just hope that everyone out there — nurses, doctors, cashiers and so many other essential workers — truly do feel appreciated for all they’ve done. There’s no way we could have gotten through this without all of them.”

Nursing is a profession close to Parmalee’s hearts: Matt his brother and Scott Thomas, Parmalee’s drummer, have a sister-in-law who is a nurse, and bassist Barry Knox, the Thomas’ cousin, has a cousin who is a nurse as well. Childhood friend Josh McSwain, a guitarist, rounds out Parmalee’s lineup.

Initially released in December of 2019, “Just the Way” is Parmalee’s first No. 1 single since “Carolina” in 2013. The song topped the country airplay charts — Brown’s first time at No. 1 there — in mid-March.

“Blanco being the positive energy he is, he called it out. He’s like, ‘We’re going to have a No. 1 together,'” Parmalee tell Kelleigh Bannen on her Apple Music radio show. Adds Brown, “Oh yeah. It was a day before the song came out. I shot a video in Atlanta, and I was like, ‘”Just the Way,” it’s going No. 1. I feel it …”

The achievement comes as Parmalee are preparing new music and Brown is recovering from an August 2020 motorcycle crash that kept him in the hospital for weeks and continues to require follow-up care.

“To have a No. 1 in the midst of rehabilitating was just the biggest blessing ever,” Brown shared backstage at the 2021 ACM Awards, during which he served as a presenter. “To have people cheer you on, I loved it.”

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