A country star's humble tribute to his late father touches a billion hearts Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo
Grand Ole Opry/Cole Swindell

Cole Swindell just had one of the most emotional days of his entire life.

The budding superstar played the Grand Ole Opry on Aug. 23, which marked the ninth anniversary of the day he moved to Nashville to pursue his dreams of country stardom.

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What made the night even more special is Aug. 23 just happens to be the birthday of Cole’s late father, who passed away a few years ago. Losing his dad inspired Cole to write his monster hit, “You Should Be Here,” and it took a lot of courage for Cole to share that personal pain with the world. There’s no way Cole could know just how many people that song would go on to affect.

During his Opry performance, Cole found out “You Should Be Here” has been heard approximately 1 billion times through fans hearing it online, on the radio and in concert. He was presented with a plaque commemorating that feat.

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The day after the Opry performance and presentation, Cole tweeted, “Yesterday was special in So many ways.. It also marked 9 Years TO THE DAY since I moved to Nash.. Aug 23rd 2016 was a good day!”


Cole wasn’t the only emotional country star at the Opry House when he sang “You Should Be Here” on his father’s birthday.

Fellow country star Dierks Bentley tweeted Cole, “That was a special moment to witness my friend. Not sure how you go thru #YouShouldBeHere at the @opry.”

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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