Since its inception, the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala has brought in members of famous rock bands. But this year’s guest list to the all-star bash features a few entire bands that are topping fan and critics lists today: resurgent Kings of Leon and Louisville hometown heroes My Morning Jacket.
Of course, country music stars have been a mainstay of the Barnstable gala, thrown by twins Patricia Barnstable Brown and Priscilla Barnstable to benefit the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Research Center at the University of Kentucky, and the genre’s current leading lady Miranda Lambert will be a returning guest — she famously made the 2011 Derby Eve event the bachelorette party before her marriage to fellow country star Blake Shelton. Also attending will be another current chart topper: Dierks Bentley along with other country stars, many returning, including Kix Brooks, Clay Walker, LeeAnn Womack, Travis Tritt, Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery and Tracy Byrd.
The rock and pop attendees will include Gene Simmons, who was just inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame with Kiss, though that honor was rough sledding, along with his wife, actress and model Shannon Tweed. The couple have previously brought their reality series, Gene Simmons Family Jewels to the Derby. Other rockers on the list include Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, Louisvillian and The Voice Season 5 competitor Olivia Henken, perennial guests Boyz 11 Men, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, Salt-n-Pepa, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run-D.M.C., Mary Wilson of the Supremes, original Dreamgirl Jennifer Holliday, Taylor Dayne, Johnny Gill of New Edition and Joey Fatone, of ‘N Sync and reality TV fame.
The actor-contingent this year includes return visits from Josh Henderson of TNT’s Dallas, Stephen Amell of The CW’s Arrow and Lost’s Terry O’Quinn.
Of course, Derby is a sporting event and attracts sports stars, a list topped this year by Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks and returning guests Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Joining Rodgers will be fellow Green Bay Packer and former University of Kentucky star Randall Cobb, Denver Bronco Wes Welker and New England Patriot Vince Wilfork. Basketball stars include former UK player and Los Angeles Laker Jodie Meeks, former UK player and Orlando Magic member Doron Lamb, Boston Celtic Kris Humphries and Stephen Van Treese of the University of Louisville. And there will be a little sports media presence with Charissa Thompson of Fox Sports. Golfer Jason Dufner is also on the guest list along with Olympian Bode Miller and his wife and model Morgan Miller.
Rounding out the announced guest list is Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge and photographer Larry Birkhead.
The party is at 8 p.m. May 2 at the home of Patricia Barnstable Brown and it has raised $9,600,000 for the diabetes research center at UK.