MONTGOMERY — The Alabama House of Representatives honored Randy Owen of the country music band Alabama on the final day of the 2023 legislative session.
Owen appeared on the House floor alongside his wife, Kelly, to be honored with a resolution and an introduction from House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville).
"I don't want to get emotional because these people mean a lot to us," Ledbetter said. "They have meant a lot to us for a while now, and they mean a lot to our state and our country, and the things that they've done have certainly been impressive."
He continued, "Let me tell you something, this state loves you, and we appreciate what you've done for this state. The thing about it is, you could have lived d anywhere in the world you wanted to live. You could have raised your family anywhere you wanted to raise them, but you raised them in Alabama. And you're ours, and we love you for it."
In addition to honoring Owen's prodigious music career, the resolution also recognizes his impact on the state through various philanthropic endeavors in schools, universities and more.
"[W]ith special pleasure and great pride, we honor and commend Randy Owen for his work and dedication in making the lives of others better, especially those in the state of Alabama through music, charity and philanthropy," the resolution reads.
"Every night, I say a prayer, and it goes something like this, 'Lord, give me and Kelly long healthy years so that we can help others.'" Owen said. "And I say that every night. And I've been so blessed to be able to do that."
He continued, "To me, education is so valued because I know what education meant to me, to be able to get that degree from that community college, and from that high school, and from Jacksonville State University. I am now a college graduate, and nobody can ever take that away from me."
Owen addressed the House, speaking to the importance education played in his life and imploring the legislature to allow opportunities for children like himself.
"So the one thing I encourage y'all to do is to make sure, speaker, that these kids like myself, that we don't let them slide through the cracks. I could have been one of those kids that got into a lot of trouble because it was out there waiting for me. But God was very good to me and let me have a great mom and dad," he emphasized. "…So I was able to go on with my career, but the one thing I wanted to make for sure was that I got that diploma. That diploma is something that can never be taken away from me."
"I want to encourage you once again, don't let these kids like myself who are poor, don't have much, don't have really any support at home, so to speak; don't let them slide through the cracks," Owen added.
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