Joey + Rory won their first Grammy Award on Sunday night (Feb. 12), and Rory Feek couldn’t help but tear up while accepting the important award.
Rory accepted the award for Best Roots Gospel Album during the non-televised portion of the Grammy Awards last night. The moment was incredibly emotional for the singer who lost his wife and duo partner, Joey Feek, last year. According to People, it all started when he made a promise to her about the award show.
“She sang her vocals in hotel rooms while she did chemo and radiation and it finally came out a year ago, almost exactly,” he emotionally explained. “And we sat together in the final days and watched this award ceremony last year — and she said, ‘If we get nominated, promise me you will come.’ And I said ‘I will.’”
Rory kept his promise, despite his wife not being with him. She lost her brave battle with terminal cancer in March 2016, just one month after their last album was released. Hymns That Are Important to Us was the duo’s final album and, arguably, their most important. The Grammy-winning album was also their biggest debut, reaching No. 1 on the Country and Contemporary Christian chart and No. 4 on the Top 200 chart.
Last year, Joey and Rory received a nod for Best Country Dup/Group for their song “If I Needed You.” They watched the 2016 Grammy Awards together and that’s when Rory made his big promise. He told her he would attend if they got another nomination. He remembered her saying she would know long before he would whether or not they won the award.
Rory isn’t letting his wife’s memory fade. His memoir, This Life I Live, is due out tomorrow (Feb. 14). The memoir focuses on Joey’s final days fighting cervical cancer.