Kenny Chesney played to an audience of nearly 50,000 fans June 25 in Philadelphia, but he ended up paying tribute to one special fan who was lying in a hospital bed just a few miles away.
25-year-old police officer Christopher Dorman was shot seven times in the leg, chest and stomach in the line of duty just days before the concert. The officer made a video telling Kenny he wouldn’t make the show due to his injuries and asking the singer not to forget about him. You can see the video here.
Kenny found out about Christopher and his video just moments before taking the stage in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Kenny didn’t realize Christopher was still alive while he paid tribute to him onstage.
As you can see in this video posted to Twitter by a reporter from the local ABC affiliate, Kenny mistakenly said Christopher died as he was paying tribute to him.
Later that night, Kenny’s rep released a statement making it right. It reads, “I was so caught up in the moment. I think the emotions got the best of me — and I wasn’t as clear as I could’ve been. The idea that a hero like that, with seven bullets in him, would even think about me… I heard about it right before I hit the stage, and it stopped me in my tracks. Someone whose life was on the line, and after all that bravery?”
According to a tweet from the the officer’s police force in Folcroft, Pennsylvania, Kenny personally called Christopher to apologize for the mixup.
On top of that, Kenny has always loved playing Philadelphia. When he performed there in 2015, Kenny was under the weather, so he didn’t feel like he got that crazy connection with the fans he usually enjoys. That’s why he was determined to make the 2016 Philadelphia tour stop so special.
“To honor a policeman who survived something so horrific, to be rocked so hard by all those people, to see a city so alive, that’s everything about why we do this,” Kenny adds. “To Philadelphia, you have a lot of heart – and it was an honor to rock with you tonight and honor one of your own!”