Singer White returns to West Virginia, 2.5 years after suffering stroke on stage


ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – Two and a half years after country music artist Drake White collapsed during a performance in Elmwood Park, he has returned to West Virginia – grateful for the care he received here and for the musical 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 been through for the past 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 stage at Elmwood Park and he was rushed to hospital.

The public didn’t immediately realize how serious it was, but White says first responders quickly got him to the hospital and medical professionals at Carilion Roanoke Memorial were able to stop the bleeding in his brain.

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

With his recovery and then the challenge of COVID, White said his family had faced a pandemic twice, and he was happy to be on tour promoting a new album and performing for audiences again.

“I never would have written those songs if I never had that experience,” White said. “I never would have met this group, these people, these people. My marriage wouldn’t be as strong. So those challenges are what 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 always be near and dear to his heart.

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