A group of performers delivered a truly touching performance of Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven” at the 2018 Grammy Awards on Sunday night.
Artists Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne came together to pay tribute to the victims of May’s deadly Manchester bombing and October’s Las Vegas shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where a gunman opened fire and took the lives of 58 people while injuring hundreds of others.
Considering these artists performed at that festival, their tribute was even more poignant.
“On Oct. 1, all of country music was reminded in the most tragic way, the connection we share with our fans, and the healing power music will always provide,” T.J. Osborne said to the crowd just before the performance.
Fans on Twitter found the tribute “lovely” and heartbreaking:
Prior to the performance, Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, said in a statement to ET online:
“Live music events have always provided a safe space for fans to gather in a shared celebration of music. Sadly, that wasn’t always the case this past year. We believe it’s incredibly important to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in these senseless tragedies and to remind musicians and music lovers alike that live music will continue to be a powerful force that unites us all.”
These feelings were echoed by Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of the Grammy Awards, who also told the publication that he “didn’t feel like we’d be doing our jobs if we didn’t reflect on these tremendous losses.”
Morris said in a pre-show interview with Billboard that she wasn’t going to take the performance lightly and that she felt it was a “momentous deal”:
“It was very, very traumatic to see our fans, you know, never get to go home. Never get to go to another concert again. When Ken Ehrlich of the Grammys reached out to the four of us to do the tribute, because we’d been there ― it was a really momentous deal to all four of us. So, during rehearsals last night it was really emotional, but I’m so glad I have those guys out there with me. ... If one of us had to do it on our own, I don’t think it would have been possible so to have those guys who are my friends up there doing what we do, I think it’s gonna be OK. ... It’s a really moving performance.”
Everytown, a nonprofit that advocates for gun control, sent a statement to HuffPost earlier this week applauding the Grammy Awards’ decision to recognize and remember the Las Vegas shooting victims.
“As survivors of the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting in Las Vegas, we applaud the Recording Academy for using its national platform to honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors at the Grammy Awards on Sunday,” the statement said.
“Americans should be able go about their lives free from the fear of gun violence, whether at school, a shopping mall or a concert. But, it’s not just cultural leaders who must speak out about gun violence ― our nation’s elected leaders must speak out and take action to help save lives. Inaction is not a solution.”
The Brothers Osborne were nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “It Ain’t My Fault” and Maren Morris was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance for “I Could Use a Love Song.” Neither won in their respective category.