Keith Urban Leads Tributes as Country Stars Gather in Nashville in Wake of Las Vegas Shooting
The country star, 49, performed Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” for a crowd of approximately 600 people after he told them about how he found about the tragic incident.
“I started this morning finding out about it and being shell-shocked. My 9-year-old asked, ‘Dad, you seem quiet,’ ” Urban said to the audience about his daughter Sunday Rose, whom he shares with wife Nicole Kidman. “I said, ‘Yeah a lot of people died last night,’ and she said, ‘Did you know any of them?’ ” the father of two recalled telling his oldest child.
“They’re like family. It’s the one thing about country music. It is a community. I do know those people. It just hit me,” Urban concluded.
Also at the vigil were Nashville star Charles Esten, Alison Krauss, and Vince Gill, who performed “Rest High on the Mountain.”
“I think more than anything we have to stick up for innocent people. If we lose sight of that, we’ve lost everything. As long as there is somebody that might have a voice for those that have been stilled… we gotta fight the fight,” Gill told PEOPLE. “Kindness would solve it all… Any problem you can imagine. Just kindness towards one another would solve every living problem we have.”
“We are part of this community. People just want to bring their gifts. Music heals. People being together heals. Anything that makes you feel hopeful and look at something good instead of looking at the hate,” Amy Grant shared with PEOPLE.
At the event, Grant led a prayer, saying: “Could we bow all our heads and lean over to touch the person next to you. Father in heaven thank you for the gift of each other. Thank you that none of us are born or die alone. You go before us and beneath us. Fill our hearts to not be afraid and love. Thank you God that your loving arms catch every fallen person. In silence we imagine all the people rebuilding their lives. Broken. Grieving.”
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry also spoke to the audience, saying, “Love is the answer and the only thing we know.”
Barry organized the vigil along with CMA and Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. The organizations planned the vigil “in an effort to offer Nashvillians an opportunity to show their love for the victims of this deadly shooting,” according to a statement.
RELATED VIDEO: 50 Killed, 200 Wounded at Jason Aldean’s Las Vegas Concert – Deadliest Mass Shooting in U.S. History
On Sunday, 59 people died and 527 were injured at the Route 91 Harvest Festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire from his hotel room into the crowd outside, in what is now the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Jason Aldean, the night’s headliner, was performing when the incident began. Videos posted on social media show Aldean singing as very rapid gunfire begins in the background. He can be seen running from stage as he, and the thousands in the crowd, realized what was happening.
Several other country artists who were at the event, including Jake Owen, Big & Rich, the Josh Abbott Band, Kane Brown, Dylan Scott and Luke Combs, tweeted in the aftermath. In addition, several stars from the music world and beyond took to social media to mourn the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
How to Help and Learn About Loved Ones
Friends and family are asked to report missing people believed to be connected to the shooting using the hotline 1-800-536-9488.
Anyone with photo or video evidence of the shooting is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
The city of Las Vegas has established a Family Reunification Center to help connect relatives with the more than 500 people who were injured.
In addition, city officials urged those locally who wish to donate blood to visit one of two donation centers operated by United Blood Services, either at 6930 W. Charleston in Las Vegas or at 601 Whitney Ranch Drive in Henderson, Nevada.
A victims’ fund has been started on GoFundMe by Steve Sisolak the Clark County, Nevada, commission chair. Other groups providing relief include the local chapter of the American Red Cross and the National Compassion Fund.
- Reporting by JULIETTE VARA