Eric Church Returns to the Stage a Week After Brother's Death for Emotional Tribute: 'I Need This'

The country star was back on stage on Saturday — a little over a week after the death of his brother, Brandon E. Church, at 36

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Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Eric Church was back on stage on Saturday — a little over a week after the death of his brother, Brandon, at age 36.

The country singer, 41, took the stage at Ohio’s Country Concert in Fort Loramie, where he honored his late brother with an emotional cover of “Amazing Grace” and a stripped-down version of his 2006 hit “Sinners Like Me.”

Video of the touching tribute was spread on social media, the crowd going silent as he sang the lyric “me and my brother” in “Sinners Like Me” (a song that, as Taste of Country noted, features references to being “forgiven for multiple sins upon death“).

Eric also performed “How ‘Bout You” — a tune he co-wrote with his late brother.

“It’s been a tough week,” he reportedly told the crowd, according to one fan. “But I need this. I need my people.”

Brandon died on June 29 in North Carolina, where he lived.

“It is with great sadness that the Church family confirms that Eric’s brother, Brandon, passed away Friday evening,” a rep for Eric told PEOPLE in a statement. “In lieu of flowers please leave a message for the family and/or make a donation to a Scholarship Memorial Fund created in Brandon’s memory.”

So far, over $28,000 had been raised in Brandon’s honor to the Brandon E. Church Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will be “used to bless others and honor a benevolent life.”

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Rick Diamond/Getty Images

While his cause of death was not immediately known, Eric and Brandon’s father Ken told TMZ Brandon suffered “multiple seizures” before his death at his home in Granite Falls, North Carolina. While being transported to the hospital he reportedly suffered another seizure, which may have sent him into cardiac arrest.

According to Granite Falls Police Department Chief Chris Jenkins, foul play is not suspected.

In addition to “How ‘Bout You,” Eric and Brandon also co-wrote “Without You Here” from Eric’s 2009 album Carolina.

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