Vince Gill Speaks Out Against Sexual Abuse, Performs ‘Forever Changed’ [WATCH]
On Tuesday (Feb. 6), Vince Gill appeared onstage during Universal Music Group's media luncheon at the 2018 Country Radio Seminar with a particularly timely song to share. The legendary singer performed "Forever Changed," a ballad inspired by his own near-miss with sexual molestation as a pre-teen.
"I was in seventh grade. I was a young, dumb kid, and 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 recalled, sitting onstage at the Ryman with an acoustic guitar across his lap. "I was just fortunate that I ran." More than a few members of the audience whooped in response.
"I don't think I ever told anybody about that my whole life," Gill went on to say. In part, he credits his ability to open up about this trauma with others in the entertainment industry and beyond who have spoken out about sexual assault committed against them.
"I wrote this song some years ago, and never really knew where it came from until now now, when people are finally having the courage to speak out about abuse," Gill added. "I think it's beyond beautiful and beyond healthy, to see people who have been wronged finally having a voice."
Gill then recalled hearing himself play on the radio for the first time as a kid: "Because of that, I was given this great sense of hope, and it's astounding what hope can do to inspire somebody. I know I say that all the time, but it's just true."
The singer first spoke to CNN about his experience with sexual abuse back in 2011. Press play above to watch his moving performance of "Forever Changed" at the Ryman Auditorium.