Country music singer Eric Church, a headliner at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, broke down in tears as he honored the victims of the Las Vegas massacre, some of whom were planning to be at his Nashville concert Wednesday.
During the show at the Grand Ole Opry, Church told his audience that he left two seats empty for fans Heather Melton and her husband Sonny.
Sonny was killed in Sunday's mass shooting.
“If you're there in Row F, there's some empty seats and that's their seats,” he said. “I am going to tell you something. The reason I am here, the reason I am here tonight is because of Heather Melton and her husband Sonny, who died.”
In the emotional speech, he explained he saw Heather speaking on CNN with Anderson Cooper. She was wearing his tour shirt during the interview, and said they only went to the country music festival that weekend to watch Church perform.
“And then she said, ‘We have tickets for the Grand Ole Opry tomorrow night,’” Church said, masking tears behind dark sunglasses.
The country music singer then performed his new song, ‘Why Not Me,’ written in remembrance of the Meltons and the rest of the victims of the Sunday night concert.
Church, who was a headliner at the country music festival, remembered fondly dancing on speakers, waving at fans, and posing for pictures as he performed at the Friday show.
“And 48 hours later those places that I stood was carnage. Those were my people. Those were my fans,” Church said, still fighting tears.
He then admitted to the crowd, “I didn't want to be here tonight. I didn't want to play guitar.
"Because let me tell you something, I saw that crowd. I saw them with their hands in the air. I saw them with boots in the air. What I saw, that moment in time that was frozen, there's no amount of bullets can take away. None."