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.