Brown’s emotional pain was readily apparent when the “One Thing Right” singer couldn’t keep from crying while accepting an award at this year’s CMT Artists of the Year event on Wednesday night.
“Thank you all so much. I want to dedicate this to our drummer Kenny,” Brown said, choking back tears as he stood on stage at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
“He started with me coming out of Chattanooga off Facebook. People didn’t think we would make it. He was with me the whole time. He was so supportive of me,” Brown said, openingly crying. “I love you man, I miss you. The band misses you.”
Dixon died on Saturday in a tragic car accident. He was 27. The drummer was set to tie the knot on Nov. 30, with his fiancee, Sarah Hendrick, with whom he shares a young son, Levi.
An emotional Brown also thanked his fans, and the country community in general, for all their support, and ended his message with a poignant remark, telling his fellow country singers, “Bless you guys, y’all stay safe.”
During the awards show, country singer Chris Young delivered a touching performance of his song “Drowning,” which he sang in honour of Dixon’s memory.
Young originally wrote the tune following the tragic death of his own friend who also died in a car accident.
Brown’s heartbreaking dedication echoes remarks he made when paying tribute to Dixon on Instagram shortly after the news of his death first broke.
“Love you so much dude!!! You started all of this with me from the start in 2015 when no body else believed we would make it out of Chattanooga playing for 500 people and your last show was in a Fn Stadium my guy,” Brown wrote. “I know u will be watching over us with that red neck accent that we all love and you will never be replaced bro!!! I promise u that!!”
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Love you so much dude!!! You started all of this with me from the start in 2015 when no body else believed we would make it out of Chattanooga playing for 500 people and your last show was in a Fn Stadium my guy 🔥 I know u will be watching over us with that red neck accent that we all love and you will never be replaced bro!!! I promise u that!! 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽
Brown’s band also released a statement to WSB-TV Atlanta, memorializing Dixon on Sunday.
“It is with profound sadness and disbelief that we confirm we lost our drummer Kenny this weekend in a tragic car accident,” the statement read. “Kenny was a member of our family from the very beginning, and our hearts are with his fiancée Sarah, his son and everyone who knew and loved him.
“He was truly one of the greatest and kindest people on and off stage we’ve ever known,” the statement concluded.
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