Vince Gill on, "Dear Hate"

Even though he’s a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, with multiple number-ones and numerous awards to his credit, Vince Gill has often said that the spotlight has never really been that important to him. That makes his response to Maren Morris’s new song “Dear Hate” even more impressive.

The CMA Female Vocalist of the Year nominee wrote the song two years ago after the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting, and sent it to Vince, asking if he’d add guitar and harmonies.

“I was so moved I did something I’ve never done before,” Vince tells Billboard. “I [also] sang one of the verses unsolicited. After I finished and sent her my contributions, I told her she didn’t have to use it, but explained I felt compelled to sing those words. I’m so glad she decided to include it.”

Maren struggled to choose the right moment to release the sensitive song, but knew it was time after last week’s Las Vegas shooting, which claimed the lives of 58 innocent people and injured close to 500 more.

“Over the years I’ve been asked to contribute to a lot of songs,” Vince said in a statement. “This is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. Thank you, Maren, for letting me share this sentiment with you.”

So far, the response to “Dear Hate,” has been incredible, with the song hitting #1 on the iTunes all-genre chart shortly after its release.

Maren has also released a live version of the song, recorded during her first performance after the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The Texas native had performed on the outdoor stage just a day before the tragedy. You can check out Maren’s concert take on “Dear Hate” on YouTube.

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