When 58 people died attending the Route 91 music festival in Las Vegas, the country music community was deeply affected. At last night’s Country Music Awards, hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley lived up to their promise that they weren’t going to ignore the country’s recent tragedies during the hours-long broadcast.
During the show’s “In Memoriam” segment, Underwood sang a solemn version of the Christian hymn “Softly and Tenderly,” while a screen displayed photos of late country music stars like Glenn Campbell and Don Williams, who passed away within the last year.
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, Calling for you and for me. See, on the portals, He's waiting and watching; Watching for you and for me." Thank you, @CarrieUnderwood, for this moving tribute to the beautiful souls we've lost this year, including the 58 victims of the Las Vegas shooting on October 1st. #CMAawards
At the very end of the song, photos of the 58 victims of the Las Vegas shooting filled the screen, and it became an emotional moment, not just for viewers, but for Underwood too, as she struggled to finish the song.
In the show’s opening monologue, the two hosts also paid tribute to others who have perished or struggled from other horrible events that have happened this year.
“Las Vegas. Charlottesville. New York. Sutherland Springs. Historic storms in Texas, Puerto Rico, and Florida. And the list goes on and on,” Underwood said. “This has been a year marked by tragedy, impacting countless lives, including so many in our country music family. So tonight, we’re going to do what families do: come together, pray together, cry together, and sing together, too.”
Paisley dedicated the show to people who “we’ve lost and to all of those who are still healing.
“The way we see it the best way to honor our fans is to play our music—loud and proud,” he said. “Our music lifts people up and that’s what we’re here to do tonight.”
Watch the moving video below:
People took to Twitter to share reactions to the heartfelt tributes at the CMAs.
— Rachel Hall (@rachellhallIN) November 9, 2017
— Borderline (@Borderlineband) November 9, 2017
— The F.A.N. Show (@FANShowOfficial) November 9, 2017