Country Music’s ‘Tears in Heaven’ Tribute to Vegas Victims Is Grammys Standout

Eric Church, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne stunned the crowd at the 2018 Grammy Awards on Sunday night (Jan. 28) when they joined together for an emotional tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

They teamed for a stunning rendition of Eric Clapton‘s “Tears in Heaven,” lined up on stools for a very simple, stark and powerful rendition of the song, preceded by a short, impassioned into from Church and Morris.

T.J. Osborne took the first part, and Morris, clad in a flowing white gown, delivered the second verse before they all joined voices for a swelling bridge. Church was up next, their different vocal approaches bringing texture and nuance to the familiar tune.

These Are the Faces and Stories of the Las Vegas Shooting Victims

Clapton wrote the song after the death of his son, and his recording won Record, Song and Best Pop Vocal Performance Male at the Grammy Awards in 1993.

Church, Morris and Brothers Osborne were among the performers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, where the shooting rampage began during Jason Aldean‘s headlining set on the third and final night of the festival. 58 people were killed and more than 700 wounded when a gunman opened fire into the crowd from his room at the adjacent Mandalay Bay hotel.

Morris thought it was appropriate for the tribute to come from artists who actually performed at Route 91.

“It reinforces even more the strength of music and the community that we all share together, artists and fans alike,” she states.

Church also wrote a special tribute song to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting titled “Why Not Me” that he debuted days after the festival on the Grand Ole Opry. He tearfully recalled the joy of performing for what he called a very special crowd at Route 91.

“48 hours later, those places that I stood, was carnage,” Church recalled. “And those were my people. My fans.”

Morris released a song titled “Dear Hate” in the wake of the mass shooting, explaining that she’d written it previously but didn’t know when would be the right time to release it.

“I realized today that there’s never a right time,” she posted online. “Hate is everywhere and I’m sick of not doing enough … In the darkest tunnel, there is still love & music.”

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