Grand Ole Opry/YouTube | Heather Gulish Melton/Facebook
Country superstar Eric Church played the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Friday, September 29. A mere 48 hours later, that same venue was under attack when a gunman began shooting at the 22,000 person crowd from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay.
59 lives were lost and over 500 more injured during the shooting, which left many people with survivor’s guilt, including Church. As he watched the news coverage the following days, he saw a woman named Heather Melton speak to Anderson Cooper on CNN.
He asked her what brought her and her husband, Sonny, to Las Vegas, and she told him, “We went there to see Eric Church because he was Sonny’s…it was his guy, and we went there to see his guy.”
Sadly, Sonny was killed during the attack shielding his wife from bullets. Melton also said that she and her husband had tickets to the Grand Ole Opry for Wednesday night to see Church play.
During his Opry performance, Church spoke about the couple and said that he left two open seats for them in section 3, row F.
“I’m gonna tell you something, the reason I’m here, the reason I’m here tonight, is because of Heather Melton and her husband Sonny, who died, and every person that was there,” he said, visibly emotional. “I’ll tell you something, I saw that crowd. I saw them with their hands in the air. I saw them with boots in the air. And what I saw, that moment in time that was frozen there’s no amount of bullets that can take away. None.”
He continued, “And that night, something broke in me, on Sunday night when that happened. And the only way I’ve ever fixed anything that’s been broken in me is with music. So I wrote a song.“
After his emotional speech, he performed the song he wrote, specifically with Sonny in mind, called “Why Not Me,” which will likely make you weep as he sings the heartbreaking chorus, “And when the morning sun hit the mountain/And a glorious still calmed the breeze/I asked the God of all-knowing wisdom/Why you and why not me?“
He released a lyric video for the song on his Facebook page on Thursday evening (Oct. 5), where it already has over 3 million views as of press time.
Watch the video below.