Keith Urban honors those who lost their lives in the Las Vegas mass shooting with the popular hard times anthem.
The gospel-tinged melodies of Bill Withers’ 1972 hit “Lean on Me” has been playing on repeat all too often as of late. In August, it became the de facto anthem for Charlottesville school teachers after the tragic protests that left one innocent woman, Heather Heyer, 32, dead. In September, the Houston Gospel Choir took the stage at the The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for a powerful rendition following Hurricane Harvey.
Now, in the aftermath of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas at a Jason Aldean concert this past Sunday, we once again find the C-Major riffs echoing in our ears. This time, the ballad is poignantly covered by country star Keith Urban, whose croaky vocals tug at our very heartstrings.
Foregoing the neon lights and gyrating hips of a typical Keith performance, the musician performs a pared-back version of the song with much pathos. A hollow sleeplessness pervades his vocals, the thrumming picks of his guitar steadying the shake of his wary upper register.
Urban performed the emotional cover on the Bobby Bones Show as part of a special “Love > Hate” lineup that also featured Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Dan and Shay, Chris Janson, and Locash.
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To help support families affected by the Las Vegas mass shooting, you can donate to the Las Vegas Victims' Fund on GoFundMe here.