Vince Gill had a powerful personal story to share during his performance at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium on Tuesday, revealing to the audience that the origins of a song he was about to perform stem from a disturbing incident from his childhood.
“I was in 7th grade, and a young, dumb kid,” he said.
“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 added. “I was just fortunate that I got up and I ran. I just jumped up, and I ran. I don’t know why. And I don’t think I ever told anybody my whole life.”
Referencing the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, the 60-year-old country music star opened up about his admiration for those who are coming forward to share their stories of being sexually harassed and sexually abused.
“We’re living in a time right now when finally people are having the courage to speak out about being abused,” said Gill, “and I think that’s beyond healthy and beyond beautiful to see people finally have a voice for being wronged.”
Gill then performed an unreleased song titled “Forever Changed” that tackles the issue of sex abuse head-on.
“You put your hands where they don’t belong and now her innocence is dead and gone,” Gill sang. “God was watching and He knows your name / because of you, she’s forever changed.”
You can watch Gill’s moving performance in the video above.