These country music moments will give you all the feels.
Country artists frequently participate in charitable events and fundraising, but the following examples are just some of the most memorable and personal exhibitions from the heart. These little things make country music what we know and love. These are the moments that bring a tear, a shiver, and a smile to our day.
10. Keith Urban performs ‘Amazing Grace’ at an Australian hospital
Keith Urban and wife Nicole Kidman brought some extra joy to Monash Children’s Hospital when he performed an acoustic version of “Amazing Grace” for the patients and staff there. Urban eggs on his wife to lead the second verse, and then the performance quickly becomes a group sing-along, which is both surreal and entirely natural. The genuine simplicity of the moment is beautiful and is only made better by the little smiles exchanged between husband and wife. One can only imagine this might be the typical scene in the Urban-Kidman household – minus all of those flashing cell phones, of course.
9. Jake Owen brings little girl on stage
It’s no secret having children can make even the biggest party animal a total softie. Ever since Jake Owen had a daughter of his own, there’s just something about watching him with kids. There’s a plethora of videos out there from various cities and performances. In this unique encounter, he brings a little girl up on stage while he’s performing his hit song, “The One That Got Away.” He walks her around the stage, letting her try out all the different instruments, teaching her how to own the runway and giving her the opportunity to steal his microphone and sing along. Owen is just a big kid himself, so it’s a thrill to watch him enjoying the moment and having fun.
8. Brad Paisley makes a fan’s proposal one for the books
Marriage proposals happen at country concerts all the time. Do a quick search, and you’ll have your fair share of video picks. This is one of my favorites. Brad Paisley allows a man and his girlfriend up on stage to dance together while he performs an intimate acoustic version of his hit song, “Then.” The kicker comes when he reveals, mid-song, boyfriend’s intentions. He pops the question, she says, “Yes” and the crowd goes wild. Paisley continues the song with the help of the entire audience, serenading the newly-engaged couple and their future life together. Now if that doesn’t make you go, aww…
7. Luke Bryan’s 2014 CMA Entertainer of the Year acceptance speech
This moment probably wouldn’t be included on a typical “heartwarming moments” list, but it sticks with me all the time. There’s so much going on here: the announcement of Bryan as winner, the crowd’s reaction, his wife’s reaction, and the genuine way that he accepts the award and means it from the very bottom of his heart. Like I said before, there’s something truly special about the country music community. It isn’t just the way the fans support the artists – it’s the way the artists support one another. This isn’t just about winning an award. This is about going on a journey with a team of people and coming out on top. Plus, he cries.
6. Kenny Chesney tears up during “Better as a Memory” and the fans finish it for him
If a man sheds tears, he’s going to make it on this list. This performance was also included in Kenny Chesney’s Summer in 3D concert film. It shows the usually chill, go-with-the-flow beach bum so overcome with emotion that he is unable to recover during his performance of “Better as a Memory.” He keeps trying to come back in, but fails to hold it together. The fans come to his rescue in a show of support and help finish the performance. It’s hard to know exactly what triggered Chesney’s emotional reaction. Some blame his at-the-time recent divorce from actress Renee Zellweger, but what matters is the recovery. Country artists are there for their fans, and the fans are always there for them too.
5. The Opry returns after 2010 flood destruction
The 2010 flood wreaked havoc on downtown Music City, including the famed Opryland Resort and nearby Opry House. The music community’s heartbreak was rooted not in the fact that a building had been flooded, but that the history, artifacts and sacred ground of country music had been compromised.
While the Grand Ole Opry, itself, never let the damages of the flood stall its weekly performances, it took five months for the building restoration and for the show to return to its home of nearly 40 years. On September 28, 2010, Opry members Brad Paisley and Little Jimmy Dickens helped re-open the stage with an emotional performance of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” which eventually grew to include a stage full of stars. Country music cannot be broken, especially with a family as tight-knit as the Opry.
4. Vince Gill and Little Big Town pay tribute to an industry friend
It’s always sweet when artists go out of their way for their fans, but it’s really something to see them come out and pay tribute to one another. The simple and pure emotion in this performance is palpable. It brings tears to my eyes every time. Once again, we see just how important the community is to country music and its artists. Most of us don’t know David Haley, a record promoter who passed on the day of this Opry performance. Haley was an important part of these artists’ careers and their lives, even if all of his work was done behind the scenes. This isn’t just a performance. It is a dedication. It reveals a true, human side to the inner workings of the country genre.
3. Taylor Swift crashes a fan’s bridal shower
It’s no secret Taylor Swift has always been involved with her fans. The hardcore devotion of her “Swifties” could probably take over the world. This video, compiled by Swift herself, reveals the lengths she’ll go to in order to pay it back. After receiving a wedding invitation from a fan she’d met numerous times, she could’ve sent a card or a nice gift and called it a day. But no, the cross-genre superstar hopped on a plane, flew to Ohio and showed up at her fan’s bridal shower. She brought along a basket of hand-painted gifts and hugs galore. You might also remember Swift recently made headlines by creating her very own “Swiftmas,” in which she basically stalked her biggest fans in order to surprise them with personalized gifts and handmade cards. If that’s not going above and beyond for your fans, I really don’t know what is.
2. Miranda Lambert breaks down during “Over You” performance
In this video, Lambert is performing her already-emotional hit song, “Over You,” which she co-wrote with husband Blake Shelton about the untimely death of his brother. What happens next that is what makes the performance so special. The star walks across the stage and takes the hand of a woman with cancer, who is standing in the front row. Instead of just giving a hug or taking a quick picture, she grips the woman’s hand and doesn’t let go. She continues singing until she can’t anymore, and the crowd helps her along in a show of true support. You can see in her eyes just how real the moment is.
1. Garth Brooks takes a time-out during show to serenade fan with cancer
Garth Brooks is undeniably one of the greatest country superstars to ever grace the stage. This is probably why it’s such a big deal for him to single out a fan during one of his epic sold-out shows. In this encounter, a performance of “The Dance” in front of thousands becomes a personal dedication to a cancer-stricken woman holding up a sign referencing the song. First, Brooks sits down to single her out as he flawlessly continues his performance. He then stops mid-chorus to hand the woman his guitar, give her a hug and a fist pump of encouragement. He never even really finishes the song – he doesn’t have to.
Screengrab via Chris Ramon/GSXRC1300/Youtube