Vince Gill Shares Childhood Trauma, Stuns With ‘Forever Changed’ [Watch]
Vince Gill dropped a bombshell on the thunderstruck audience at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 6), sharing a song called "Forever Changed" that was inspired by a traumatic incident from his own childhood.
Seated on a stool and playing acoustic guitar, Gill told the music-industry-only audience at the Universal Music Group luncheon during the annual Country Radio Seminar that he was thrilled people in the entertainment business and elsewhere are finally feeling free to come forward and share their stories of abuse.
Saying he believes music should be able to capture every moment, Gill shared that he, too, has experienced such moments — in his case, at the hands of a junior high school gym teacher.
“Maybe this song came from a personal experience for me. I was in seventh grade, and a young, dumb kid," Gill recalled. 'I had a gym teacher that acted inappropriately towards me and was trying to do things that I didn’t know what the hell was going on.”
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"I was just fortunate that I got up and I ran," he added. "I just jumped up and I ran. I don’t know why. I don’t think I ever told anybody my whole life. Even what’s been going on has been giving me a little bit of courage to speak up, too."
He added that he wrote "Forever Changed" a number of years ago, but never knew if it was the right moment to record and release it.
He delivered the song in a stark arrangement, his pure, soaring tenor cracking with emotion in spots as he sang the story of a young girl who's been victimized. "But God is watching, and he knows your name / Because of you, she's forever changed," he sings in the chorus.
Click the video above to see part of Gill's emotionally shattering performance.
The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have effected massive change at many levels in American culture over the past few months, originally sparked by incendiary allegations of a longstanding pattern of sexual exploitation on the part of movie executive Harvey Weinstein. Nashville executive Kirt Webster was brought down by allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted singer Austin Rick, and Nashville's Song Suffragettes banded together to record a powerful new song and video titled "Time's Up."
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