This Reba McEntire Fan Winning Meet and Greet Passes Is All You Need Today [Watch]
Billy O'Brien and his mom thought they were just picking up the concert tickets they purchased. In fact, the 23-year-old didn't even have Reba McEntire on his mind when his local radio station surprised him.
Billy and Leann O'Brien walked into the 107.7 GNA studio (WGNA in Albany, N.Y.) to scoop up their previously purchased Countryfest tickets, but the morning show had been made aware that the mother/son combo were planning to see McEntire later in the week in Connecticut. In a video shared by the radio station, the hosts of the morning show (Brian & Chrissy in the Morning) hand him an envelope with meet and greet passes. It's emotional, to say the least.
"Music in general makes him feel good. Her music, it hits home for him," Leann O'Brien tells Taste of Country in explaining how this has been a big week in her house.
Billy has Cerebral Palsy. Leann explains that music (especially country music) and baseball are his two true passions.
"He didn't always do what other kids did, but he always wanted to," she says. "He would say, 'I'm gonna play guitar for Toby Keith when I grow up,' or 'I'm gonna pitch for the Red Sox.'"
"He didn't always do exactly what the other kids were doing, but I would always say, 'We don't do different things, we just do things differently.'"
As a boy, Billy would cut pictures out of Country Weekly magazine and laminate them and take them to concerts for artists to sign. Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw are two more favorites — Billy likes the legends!
"Some of the newer music isn't as family friendly. You don't see parents bringing their children and everybody enjoying that kind of music. At country concerts you see people of all ages," Leann says. "We went to one and it's just so heartwarming. He's like, 'Mom, look!' There was this older couple just dancing to the music, and he just loves that kind of atmosphere where no matter what age you are, what color you are, what religion you are, everyone is enjoying the same kind of music."
The McEntire concert is Friday night (June 29) and in the meantime, both Billy and Leann are trying to figure out the answer to this question: "What do you say to royalty?" Of course, they're also looking forward to the music. She's guaranteed to play the Adams, Mass., native's favorite song: all of them.
Country's Most Powerful Women? Of Course Reba Is On the List!