Singer White returns to western Virginia, 2 1/2 years after suffering stroke on stage

Country music artist Drake White returned to Roanoke two and a half years after he suffered a...
Country music artist Drake White returned to Roanoke two and a half years after he suffered a stroke on stage at Elmwood Park.(wdbj)
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 8:15 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Two and a half years after country music artist Drake White collapsed during a performance at Elmwood Park, he returned to western Virginia - thankful for the care he received here, and for the music career that continues to carry him forward.

White says ‘Hurts the Healing’ is the heart of his new album, a song inspired by everything he’s experienced in the last two and a half years.

“And that’s why I’m here,” White told WDBJ7 Thursday afternoon, “to tell the story of resilience, and what happens when you find purpose and find people.”

It was August 16, 2019, when White suffered a stroke while performing on the stage at Elmwood Park and he was rushed to the hospital.

It wasn’t immediately clear to the audience how serious it was, but White says the first responders got him to the hospital quickly, and the health professionals at Carilion Roanoke Memorial were able to stop the bleeding in his brain.

“They saved my life here in this city,” White said, “and it will always be a special place to me.”

With his recovery and then the challenge of COVID, White said his family has faced a pandemic times two, and he’s happy to be on tour promoting a new album and performing for audiences again.

“I would have never written these songs, if I had never had this experience,” White said. “I would have never met this band, these people, these folks. My marriage wouldn’t be this strong. So it was these challenges that made me stronger.”

White was scheduled to perform Thursday night at the Harvester in Rocky Mount.

White described his recovery as “a victory story.” And Roanoke, he said, will be always be near and dear to his heart.

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