(Reuters) - Three country artists who performed at the Las Vegas festival that became the bloody setting of America’s deadliest mass shooting reunited Sunday night on stage at the Grammy Awards.
Country singers the Brothers Osborne, Eric Church and Maren Morris all performed at the Route 91 country music festival before gunman Stephen Paddock, 64, fired into the crowd on Oct. 1, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Paddock also killed himself.
On Sunday, the singers performed a haunting version of Eric Clapton’s ballad “Tears in Heaven” seated side by side in front of a backdrop lit up with the names of the victims.
“(We) are here to honor the memory of the beautiful music-loving souls all so cruelly taken from us,” said Morris, paying tribute to not only the victims of the Las Vegas shooting but also the 22 people killed when a suicide bomb was detonated at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in May.
The tribute prompted a wave of appreciation on social media, including from gun control advocates. Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt, tweeted:
“Thank you @MarenMorris, @brothersosborne, and @ericchurch for shining a light on our gun violence epidemic. We all need to do our part to make our communities safer. #Grammys #CourageToFight
Church, who was the headline act on the first night of the Route 91 festival and wrote the song “Why Not Me” in its immediate aftermath, said the music industry would always be united with its fans.
“On October 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,” he said.
Editing by Cynthia Osterman