Eric Church, Brothers Osborne and Maren Morris all performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas in the days leading up to Oct. 1. On that night, 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured as a shooter fired into the concert crowd, causing the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The emotional wounds are still fresh from that horrific night, and Eric, Brothers O and Maren are all coming together to help the healing process continue with a performance on this year’s Grammy Awards.
It’s just the latest step in that process for Eric, who wrote and performed an emotional song written in response to the tragedy just days after it happened. During that performance on the Grand Ole Opry, Eric recalled how much joy he experienced performing for the fans at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
He said, “I was so moved by it, mainly because, I looked at ’em and went, ‘This is my crowd. I’ve seen this crowd all year. They’re mine.’”
One of Eric’s biggest fans, Sonny Melton, was lost in the mass shooting, and Eric saw Sonny’s wife, Heather, talking about the tragedy on CNN while wearing one of Eric’s tour T-shirts.
I didn’t want to be here tonight. I didn’t want to play guitar. I didn’t want to walk on this stage, but last night, let me try to get this out, last night somebody sent me a video of a lady named Heather Melton and she was talking to Anderson Cooper on CNN and she had on our Church Choir Tour shirt. And he said, “what brought you to Vegas?” and she goes “We went there to see Eric Church because he was Sonny’s [her husband who died] it was his guy, and we went there to see his guy.” And then she said “We have tickets for the Grand Ole Opry tomorrow night.” And there’s a, over here, section 3, row F, if you’re there in row F, there’s some empty seats and that’s their seats. And, I’m gonna tell you something, the reason I’m here, the reason I’m here tonight, is because of Heather Melton and her husband Sonny, who died, and every person that was there. I’ll tell you something, I saw that crowd. I saw them with their hands in the air. I saw them with boots in the air. And what I saw, that moment in time that was frozen there’s no amount of bullets that can take away. None. And that night, something broke in me, on Sunday night when that happened. And the only way I’ve ever fixed anything that’s been broken in me is with music. So I wrote a song…
Sonny was a huge Eric fan, and they actually had tickets to see Eric perform at the Grand Ole Opry on Oct. 4. Eric pointed out their empty seats that night before performing his heart-wrenching new song, “Why Not Me.”
Maren Morris is one of the more than six million people who watched that video of Eric singing on the Opry. She’s honored to stand beside him and Brothers Osborne to remember the victims again on the Grammy Awards.
Maren writes on Instagram, “I will never forget talking to @brothersosborne after we played Route 91. I will never forget hearing @EricChurchMusic play ‘Why Not Me’ after Route 91. Honored to tribute the victims of concert violence with my good friends at #TheGRAMMYs this year. Music heals.”
Beyond grateful to play this year's #Grammys with our dear friends @marenmorris and @EricChurchmusic. We all played Route 91 Fest last year and will forever hold those that attended dear to our hearts. Getting to honor the victims lost in last year's tragedies is going to be heavy but we hope it can help heal at least a little. @recordingacademy
Brothers Osborne agree saying, “Beyond grateful to play this year’s #Grammys with our dear friends @marenmorris and @EricChurchmusic We all played Route 91 fest last year and will forever hold those that attended dear to our hearts. Getting to honor the victims lost in last year tragedies is going to be heavy, but we hope it can help heal at least a little.”
Little Big Town will also perform on the 60th Annual Grammy Awards airing at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 28 on CBS.