Billy O’Brien has two passions in life: country music and baseball.
The 23-year-old also has cerebral palsy. Growing up in Adams, Massachusetts, he always dreamed of playing guitar like Toby Keith or running the bases at Fenway Park like one of his beloved Boston Red Sox players. As Billy got older, his aspirations probably faded just a bit, but his love for music has never wavered.
One of the musicians Billy considers as “Country Royalty,” is Reba McEntire. “Music in general makes him feel good. Her music, it hits home for him,” mom Leann O’Brien explained.
When a family friend surprised Billy with a very special gift one day, Leann knew she had to record it and put it online. Billy was given a pair of tickets to see Reba perform in concert at her upcoming show in Connecticut, and his excited reaction was truly beautiful to behold.
Posted by Leann Olson O'Brien on Sunday, June 10, 2018
Leann shared the video on social media, hoping against hope that somehow Reba herself would see it and acknowledge her superfan. Although the video didn’t make it directly to Reba’s screen, the radio hosts at 107.7 GNA in Albany, New York, did see it. They immediately began working behind the scenes to give Billy the surprise of his life.
The hosts and staff of “Brian & Chrissy in the Morning” reached out to Leann and her husband, and soon they were hatching a plan together.
Under the ruse that they had won tickets to Countryfest and needed to pick them up, the O’Brien family traveled 90 minutes to the radio station to meet the DJs. Instead, Billy was handed an envelope with an incredible invitation inside.
Somehow, the station had pulled some strings and arranged for a meet-and-greet between Billy and Reba at the Connecticut show! The look on his face is priceless!
Billy was rendered speechless by the unexpected gift, something his mom says never happens! Leann explained that their family loves country music the best, especially because of the eclectic audiences the musicians tend to attract.
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. 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.
We’re sure Billy is going to have the time of his life at the June 29th show, and we can’t wait to see the pictures of this proud fan meeting one of his country music heroes.
Watch Billy’s heartwarming reaction to the surprise below, and be sure to share to spread the love!