Maren Morris, Eric Church, Brothers Osborne Sing ‘Tears in Heaven’ for Route 91 Harvest Festival Tribute at 2018 Grammys [WATCH]
A trio of artists that performed at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival before the shooting -- Eric Church, Maren Morris and the Brothers Osborne -- performed Eric Clapton's 1992 song "Tears in Heaven" as a somber acoustic tribute to those who lost their lives during the 2018 Grammy Awards.
Prior to the performance, both Church and Morris made heartfelt remarks; the latter referenced those that lost their lives in last May's bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, and commented that the fans who died at these concerts were no different than any other music fans. TJ Osborne (wearing a white rose prominently on his lapel) started off the song, and sang verse one in a low, steady voice.
Morris took verse two, and put a little church and soul into her own understated performance. After a bridge that featured all four harmonizing with one another, Church closed out the song, a steely look on his face.
The wrenching, touching atmosphere of the performance was amplified by the simple stage setup, which featured the names of those who died written in different handwriting, and projected on yellow-orange light squares.
“In all honesty, there’s not a day that goes by since that day that I have not thought of it and thought of the people and the victims,” Church told the Associated Press in recent weeks. “That being our last show of the year, I took it in differently than I have maybe taken in other shows. I savored it. I remember everything about it."
Grammy Awards Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich told the AP that they considered a "number of songs," but the lyrics to "Tears in Heaven" "certainly stood out" from the pack.
"We wanted something that is universal," Ehrlich explained. "We wanted something that spoke to the subject, which certainly this song does."
"Tears in Heaven," which won Best Pop Vocal Performance, Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 1993 Grammy Awards, indeed has a very sad origin story: Clapton originally wrote the song to honor the memory of his 4-year-old son, Conor. Tragically, the toddler died in 1991 after falling out of an open window in his high-rise New York City condominium.
Other awards shows have also programmed touching Route 91 tributes, most notably the 2017 CMA Awards, which saw Carrie Underwood performing "Softly and Tenderly."
See Country Stars Walk the 2018 Grammy Award Red Carpet