Vince Gill’s ‘Forever Changed’ Details the Lasting Impact of Abuse [LISTEN]
Vince Gill's emotive voice and sensitive demeanor lend themselves easily to subject matter grounded in unfortunate truths. That was true in 1994, when "Go Rest High on That Mountain" changed country music forever, and it remains a fact on Gill's vulnerable new single, "Forever Changed."
The latest look into Gill's home state homage, Okie (out Aug. 23) revisits the singer's real-life encounter with a child molester as a means to explain the lasting repercussions of assault. Gill first revealed his sexual abuse experience to CNN in 2011. He unveiled "Forever Changed" from the Ryman stage during 2018's Country Radio Seminar.
"I was in seventh grade. I was a young, dumb kid, and 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," Gill recalled in 2018. "I was just fortunate that I ran."
In a press release, the singer says he hopes the song helps offer support to survivors of sexual trauma. "I knew it was important for people to hear -- it's a real thing and you can't sweep it under the rug," he says. "It's a story about sexual abuse and grew out of an incident that happened to me in junior high school -- I was lucky and I escaped, but who knows how my life could have been different had I not gotten away."
Gill cites others' bravery in sharing their stories as inspiration."I wrote this song some years ago, and never really knew where it came from until now now, when people are finally having the courage to speak out about abuse," Gill added. "I think it's beyond beautiful and beyond healthy, to see people who have been wronged finally having a voice." The song joins "I Don't Want to Ride the Rails No More" and "A World Without Haggard" as advanced releases from Gill's 15th studio album.