Country music singer Ashley McBryde celebrated Easter by offering an emotional rendition of the hymn "Amazing Grace" from the empty stage of Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium.
Recorded April 10 while the nation continues to struggle through its coronavirus crisis, the moving clip finds McBryde standing alone in the hallowed hall with, no audience to perform for. She begins the gospel classic with a smile but quickly has to stop, as the sad reality of the moment washes over her and steals her voice.
"I had the opportunity to honor all we've lost at @theryman this week," McBryde writes on Instagram, "and I tried my best ... 7 times in a row. I really tried ..."
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the country music community specifically is reeling from the deaths of Kenny Rogers, Joe Diffie, Jan Howard and John Prine, all of whom died between March 20 and April 7. Rogers and Howard died of natural causes, but Diffie and Prine died after contracting the coronavirus.
"Some things just can't be healed. Some losses can't be reconciled, and some wounds will never heal. Sometimes we don't get closure the way we want to," McBryde continues. "All we can do is honor our predecessors and hope that we touch the hem of heaven sometime in our lives."
"I wouldn't normally sing this song but we all may need this right now and there isn't a better place to sing it at than the Ryman," she went on. "The mother church pulls things like that out of you and will tell you what to sing and when to sing it...even if you can't. Happy Easter, love to you all."