Keith Urban took the stage at Nashville’s open-air Ascend Amphitheater Monday night to perform at a vigil less than 24 hours after a gunman opened fire on concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured in the Oct. 1 shooting, and Keith was understandably shaken after watching the news coverage.
Keith started off his portion of the vigil offering prayers and love from his family to all those affected by the “horrific tragedy.”
He said, “I started this morning by finding out about it, and being shell shocked all morning getting my kids ready for school.”
As he drove his nine-year-old daughter, Sunday Rose, to school, she asked him why he was so quiet. That opened up a dialogue between father and daughter on this unspeakable tragedy.
Keith told her, “‘It was a lot of people killed last night.’ She said, ‘Did you know any of them?’ I said, ‘Not that I know of.’ She said, ‘Well, why are you so sad?’ I said, ‘Well, first of all, these were innocent people horrifically taken. Secondly, they’re like family.’ It’s the one thing about country music that’s always been at the center of it. It’s community. It’s about community. So, I did know those people in that way, and it just really hit me.”
Before he performed a solo acoustic cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Keith added, “I feel very grateful for this moment tonight to be able to put some light in the world.”
Alison Krauss, Vince Gill and Amy Grant were among the other stars leading the vigil in Nashville along with Mayor Megan Barry. We spotted Dan + Shay’s Dan Smyers in the crowd holding hands and praying with his wife, Abby, too. The vigil was organized by the Country Music Association.