"The group Alabama is one of the biggest reasons I got into country music," Atkins said in an interview before the concert. "I listened to their music over and over, coming up. It is such a huge honor to be included in this."
Atkins already has performed at two concerts for tornado relief, but he said he didn't hesitate when his management company contacted him about Bama Rising and the chance to perform alongside Alabama, members of the Country Music Hall of Fame who have had 42 No. 1 singles and sold more than 73 million records in three decades.