Country music star Thomas Rhett offered up an emotional speech and prayer Wednesday night after fellow artist Kane Brown spoke tearfully about the sudden death of his drummer, Kenny Dixon.
Rhett turned to prayer during his acceptance speech for CMT’s Artist of the Year award. Dixon passed away over the weekend after being rushed to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville following what was described as “a tragic car accident.”
Uncertain what to say, Rhett quickly turned to prayer.
“I just want to lift up Kane and his family,” he said in the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. “And I want to lift up his drummer, and their family. And I don’t know if this is very conventional, but can I just pray really fast? Is that OK with everybody?”
Father God, we love You so much, while also [struggling with] something that we can’t comprehend. And so right now, I pray that You would be with Kane and his family, and his drummer Kenny and his family, and bring them peace that only You know how to bring somebody.
And thank you for this night. God bless country music. We love you, Jesus, and in Your name we pray, amen.
The star-studded audience gathered for the annual CMT Awards then erupted in applause.
Reba McEntire, when she was presented with CMT’s Artist of a Lifetime award, praised Rhett for his willingness to pray during his own speech.
“God bless you,” she said of Rhett, adding his decision to offer a prayer in front of so many people “took guts.” Apparently, at one point, Rhett wondered if his speech would end up on national television, given his strong faith message and reference to Jesus. So when McEntire got up to speak, she said, “It better be aired.”
“That’s what we need in our life: a little more God,” McEntire continued, with tears in her eyes. “We’ve gotta give this world back to God. We’ve gotta give Him the focus and the attention that He needs.”
As for Brown, he dedicated his CMT Artist of the Year prize to Dixon.
“He started with me coming out of Chattanooga off Facebook; people didn’t think we’d make it,” Brown said. “He was with me the whole time. He was so supportive of me. And I love you, man. I miss you. The band misses you.”