Frey passed away from complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia on Jan. 18. The news came as a shock to fans and friends of the artist, who had kept his illness relatively quiet. When Gill performed at the Grand Ole Opry just a few days later, the loss was still fresh in his mind.
“For me, the songs of the Eagles are some of the best songs that have ever come to light,” Gill told the Grand Ole Opry crowd. “So I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t honor my sweet friend Glenn and do a couple of his songs. I haven’t sung this song since I was 16 years old, and it sounded really scary. I have a tape of me singing it at 16 and it’s awful. I’m hoping tonight maybe I can remedy that awful rendition when I was a kid. Here’s ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling,’ in honor of Glenn.”
Gill’s poignant performance of the Eagles’ 1972 hit brought a silence over the crowd inside Ryman Auditorium. It was an emotional and fitting tribute to a man who left a lasting mark on the music industry.
Click below to watch Vince Gill’s stirring rendition of “Peaceful Easy Feeling” at the Grand Ole Opry.