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If you are a country music fan, you shed tears easily. That’s who we are. We play hard and we love hard.

But perhaps we have never cried as much as we have cried in 2017.


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From Glen Campbell and Troy Gentry’s deaths to the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, we have lost so many in one year. There have almost been too many to count and almost too many for one heart to handle. So during the 51st Annual CMA Awards, there was only one person who could adequately pay tribute to all of those lives that ended too soon.

And that was Carrie Underwood.

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On the stage of the 51st Annual CMA Awards, Carrie Underwood looked and sounded downright angelic as she performed the hymn “Softly and Tenderly,” as pictures of all those we lost in the country music industry flashed on the screen behind her.

And then, those faces we lost in Vegas came up on the screen. Those faces of all those people who were just like us. All those people who played hard and loved hard.

And then there was silence, as Carrie cried, the audience cried and we all cried for lives that ended so tragically. And for a moment, we hurt like the moment we first heard the news.

And then, together, we all began to heal.

Tears fall as Carrie Underwood pays tribute to all those we have lost Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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