For reasons we’ll never understand, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place last October at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, an annual country music fest that takes place in Last Vegas. Fifty-eight people died, more than 500 more were wounded, and the shooter, Stephen Paddock, died of suicide afterwards.
To pay tribute to those we lost, three artists who performed at the festival—Maren Morris, Eric Church, and Brothers Osborne—will perform at the Grammys next Sunday, January 28, the Recording Academy announced today. “Live music events have always provided a safe space for fans to gather in a shared celebration of music,” said Neil Portnow, head of the Academy. “Sadly, that wasn’t always the case this past year.”
This isn’t the first time that some of those artists have spoken out about the shooting since it happened. The day after the mass shooting, Morris, who won the Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance last year, released a song called “Dear Hate” that she wrote “3 years ago” and recorded with Vince Gill. “I never knew when would be the right time,” she wrote on Twitter. “But I realized today that there’s never a right time. Hate is everywhere, and I’m sick of not doing enough.”
A few days after Morris’ song release, Eric Church, one of the festival’s headliners, performed a song he dedicated to the shooting victims, “Why Not Me,” live at a concert in Nashville. He told the crowd about his Friday night set at Route 91: “[I] saw smiling faces, hands in the air and pictures being taken… 48 hours later, those places where I stood was carnage... Those are my people. Those are my fans.”
John Osborne of Brothers Osborne echoed the same sentiment in an emotional radio interview: “It’s hard,” John says, tearing up. “They’re family. Every person that’s ever come out to a show of ours, they feel like family to us. We feel like we owe them everything.”
Jason Aldean, who was performing onstage when the shooter, Stephen Paddock, opened fire on the band and the crowd, has not announced whether he will perform or not at the Grammys.