On February 18, 2001, the racing community was rocked to the core by the death of one of its greatest drivers, the legendary Dale Earnhardt.
Over the course of his career, Earnhardt won 76 Winston Cup races and earned seven NASCAR Winston Cup championships.
While racing during the Daytona 500 in 2001, Earnhardt was involved in a three car crash in the final lap, and suffered a fatal basilar skull fracture as a result. At only 49 years old, Earnhardt was pronounced dead later that day at the Halifax Medical Center.
Earnhardt was laid to rest during a private funeral service in Kannapolis, North Carolina on February 21, 2001. The next day, a memorial service was held for Earnhardt at the Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Thousands of guests attended the 22-minute service, which opened with an emotional tribute performance from Alabama's lead singer, Randy Owen. For his performance, Owen chose the song "Goodbye (Kelly's Song)," which was written by Owen and included as the seventh track on Alabama's album, Pass It On Down.
With lyrics such as "Goodbye, goodbye, Till I see you again./Goodbye, goodbye, I'll love and I'll miss you./Till then, remember me, 'cause I care," the emotional song seemed to take on Earnhardt's voice after death, wishing his family, friends, and fans a final goodbye.
Owen's acoustic performance of "Goodbye" at Earnhardt's funeral service was so moving that you could have heard a pin drop in the church at the end. We can't think of any better song, or any better singer, to pay tribute to Earnhardt.
You can watch Owen's emotional performance of "Goodbye" in the video below.
Although Earnhardt may be gone, we know he will never be forgotten.
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