The gospel-tinged melodies of Bill Withers’ 1972 hit “Lean on Me” has been playing on repeat all too often as of late. In August, it became the de facto anthem for Charlottesville school teachers after the tragic protests that left one innocent woman, Heather Heyer, 32, dead. In September, the Houston Gospel Choir took the stage at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for a powerful rendition following Hurricane Harvey.
Now, in the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas while Jason Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest festival this past Sunday, we once again find the C-Major riffs echoing in our ears. This time, the ballad is poignantly covered by country star Keith Urban, whose croaky vocals tug at our very heartstrings.
Foregoing the neon lights and gyrating hips of a typical Keith performance, the musician performs a pared-back version of the song with much pathos. A hollow sleeplessness pervades his vocals, the thrumming picks of his guitar steadying the shake of his wary upper register.
WATCH:Chris Young Dedicates His First Performance Since the Las Vegas Massacre to Those Killed & Injured
To help support families affected by the Las Vegas mass shooting, you can donate to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund on GoFundMe here.