Oct. 6 (UPI) — Country singer Eric Church dedicated a new song to the victims of the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas.
During a performance at the Grand Ole Opry on Wednesday, Church said performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas two days before what would become the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history inspired him to write the song “Why Not Me” in honor of the victims.
“That night something broke in me,” he said. “And the only way I’ve ever fixed anything that’s been broken in me is with music.”
Church recalled performing at the festival before Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire at the festival crowd on Sunday killing 59 people including himself and wounding 527 more.
“I saw that crowd. I saw ’em with their hands in the air. I saw ’em with boots in the air,'” he said. “What I saw, that moment in time that was frozen, there’s no amount of bullets that can take it away.”
He also told the story of witnessing a woman being interviewed on CNN wearing his tour shirt, as she and her husband, who was killed in the shooting, traveled to Vegas to watch his performance.
“Last night, somebody sent me a video, of a lady named Heather Melton,” Church said. “And she was talking to Anderson Cooper on CNN. And she had on our ‘Church Choir’ tour shirt. And he said ‘What brought you to Vegas?’ And she goes, ‘We went there to see Eric Church.’ Because it was Sonny’s, her husband that died, it was his guy. ‘And we went there to see his guy.’ And then she said we have tickets for the Grand Ole Opry tomorrow night.”
Church pointed out two seats in the crowd that were left empty in the couple’s honor.
“There’s some empty seats. That’s their seats,” he said. “The reason I’m here, the reason why I’m here tonight is because of Heather Melton, her husband Sonny who died and every person who was there.”