Natalie Stovall, the newest member of the country trio Runaway June, didn’t quite have a merry Christmas. As the musician revealed last week, she tested positive for the coronavirus over the holidays.
Not quite as exciting as her two bandmates — Naomi Cooke and Jennifer Wayne — each getting engaged during the same span, but Stovall took things in stride. The namesake Natalie Stovall and the Drive performer has a husband herself, fellow musician James Bavendam, and, from how the singer put it in her Dec. 30 message, it seems he was affected by COVID-19, as well.
“We’ve had a full-on COVID Christmas round these parts,” Stovall says. “I tested positive a few weeks ago and hunkered down with lots of grocery deliveries. … So thankful it was a mild case. Just achy, exhausted and so strange not to taste or smell! But I have been cleared by Vanderbilt and am immune/not contagious for at least 90 days. Guess that’s the silver lining here.”
“I know so many people hurting and affected by this awful disease,” the musician continues. “James and I are definitely counting our blessings. Stay safe and healthy out there, y’all. Here’s to getting back to normalcy.”
Stovall’s the latest name in country music to test positive for the contagious disease that’s enveloped the globe in an alarming pandemic for a year now, ever since it was first identified in China in December of 2019. Afflicting the United States early in 2020, more than 20 million Americans have since contracted the virus, and more than 352,000 in the U.S. have died from it, per the latest statistics from the CDC.
Other country musicians who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 include Lee Brice, Randy Houser, Coffey Anderson, Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and a member of Rascal Flatts. Last year, country legends such as Charley Pride, Joe Diffie and John Prine died after contracting the disease.
In April, Wayne, Stovall’s collaborator in Runaway June, also revealed a positive coronavirus diagnosis. The bandmate was initially hesitant to share the news, saying the ailment “kind of rocked [her]” and that she “wasn’t sure that putting it on a public platform was right.”
20 Country Artists Who Tested Positive for Coronavirus: