Sometimes you hear a song so perfectly sung you can't imagine a more poignant time and place for it. Columbia, Mo. resident Michele Wright posted a video to Facebook in January 2018 of her brother, Marc Wright, singing Garth Brooks' hit song "The Dance" as he laid in his hospital bed. Sadly, Marc passed away from cancer only days after performing the song.
As a firefighter for 25 years with the Columbia, Mo. Fire Department, Marc already possessed a great deal of bravery. But after a three year battle with cancer culminating in a final song, Marc's courage is even more evident as he sings, "Yes my life is better left to chance/I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance."
After Michele posted the video, it quickly reached over a million views and even got back to Garth Brooks himself. In an episode of Facebook Live stream series Inside Studio G, the musician spoke about how emotionally powerful the performance was. "This guy gets it, everyone in the room gets it," Brooks said, stating that he's never heard the song performed so touchingly.
Marc- You even touched Garth with your beautiful voice. We love you and you will always be with us❤️
Posted by Michele Wright on Monday, January 29, 2018
The final tune on his debut album, "The Dance" became perhaps Brooks' most iconic and definitely a fan favorite song. Songwriter Tony Arata wrote it and Brooks released it as his last single from his self-titled debut album in 1990. It's still one of his greatest successes and considered one of Brooks' signature songs. The song was inspired by the Kathleen Turner film Peggy Sue Got Married.
In 1990, the song's video earned Brooks the Academy of Country Music Award for Video of the Year as well as Song of the Year. Since then, "The Dance" has memorialized countless lives in the face of tragedy, including Dale Earnhardt in a moving ceremony.
This story originally ran on Feb. 9, 2018.