The tragedies in Manchester and Las Vegas in 2017 were unlike any other. The shooting at the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival resulted in the loss of 58 lives, while the Manchester bombing resulted in 23. Neither of these tragedies will ever be forgotten. The Grammys Las Vegas tribute performance has country artists stepping up and banding together in order to honor those who lost their lives at the concerts. The Grammys is a night of tributes, and no one deserves a tribute more than the victims of those tragic events.
Country superstars Maren Morris, Eric Church, and Brothers Osborne, who performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, took the stage to deliver a heartwarming message in dedication to those lost to the Las Vegas and Manchester tragedies. After the heartwarming message, the musicians performed a rendition of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." As they performed, yellow tiles in the background lit up to reveal the names of the victims. All names appeared to be handwritten, giving audiences a chance to feel a connection to those lost.
The choice of "Tears in Heaven" is fitting for the tribute. Eric Clapton wrote "Tears in Heaven" as a way of coping with the death of his four-year old son. The Manchester bombing, which occurred following an Ariana Grande concert, tragically resulted in the death of a number of children attending.
The Las Vegas shooting is the deadliest shooting in modern U.S history. The gunman fired from a top floor of the Mandalay Resort and Casino, and later is believed to have taken his own life. He fired into a crowd of over 30,000 festival attendees.
Survivors of the Las Vegas shooting, who partnered with gun safety organization Everytown, released a statement opening up about their appreciation to the Grammys for recognizing both the victims and survivors of the tragic event.
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. 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 Las Vegas shooting resulted in an increase of discussions about gun control. On Jan. 28 during the Grammys red carpet, country musician Maren Morris talked to Rolling Stone about her belief in advocating for gun control and the increase of discussions on the topic. Her heart must be close to the issue, since she performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival just the night before the shooting.
Having this open conversation about gun rights would be a start, as well as changing legislation. We need to protect ourselves and our children, and I want the county music community to get brave and talk about it. I feel like the floodgates are starting to open, where people are comfortable talking about it. Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy like Vegas to start that conversation, but I'm hoping it impacts positive change from now on, so we never have to see this again.
In addition, following the Las Vegas shooting, Morris released "Dear Hate" with fellow country performer Vince Gill. All proceeds of the single went to the Music City Cares fund, which benefitted Las Vegas nonprofits as a response to the shooting. On Dec. 1, 2017 a benefit concert was held to help the victims' families of the shooting, and raised over $700,000.
Believe it or not, this tragedy only happened a few months ago. If you'd like to help support the families and survivors of the Las Vegas shooting, visit these organizations and see how you can make a difference.