Watch Ashley McBryde’s Peaceful ‘Amazing Grace’ Performance at the Ryman
Ashley McBryde offers a bit of peace during a trying time with a new performance of "Amazing Grace." The singer filmed her emotional rendition of the hymn at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium.
Shot on Friday (April 10) and released on Sunday (April 12) for Easter, McBryde's a cappella "Amazing Grace" is the work of not only the singer, her team and director Reid Long, but also the Nashville Department of Public Health and Ryman Auditorium and Opry Entertainment Group staff, who helped McBryde safely gain access and film in the temporarily shuttered venue during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Looking out into an empty Ryman, Long captured McBryde's tearful performance simply yet powerfully.
"I had the opportunity to honor all we’ve lost at @theryman this week," McBryde writes on Instagram, "and I tried my best ... 7 times in a row. I really tried ..."
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the country music community specifically is reeling from the deaths of Kenny Rogers, Joe Diffie, Jan Howard and John Prine, all of whom died between March 20 and April 7. Rogers and Howard died of natural causes, but Diffie and Prine died after contracting the coronavirus.
"Some things just can’t be healed. Some losses can’t be reconciled, and some wounds will never heal. Sometimes we don’t get closure the way we want to," McBryde continues. "All we can do is honor our predecessors and hope that we touch the hem of heaven sometime in our lives."
In the United States alone, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus has infected more than 525,000 people and killed more than 20,000 people as of April 12. The World Health Organization reports that, also as of April 12, more than 1.8 million people worldwide have contracted the virus, and more than 114,000 people worldwide have died because of it.
McBryde admits that "Amazing Grace" isn't a song she'd normally sing — her new song "Shut Up Sheila" references exactly that — "but we all may need this right now and there isn’t a better place to sing it at than the Ryman." Dubbed the Mother Church of Country Music, the venue, McBryde reflects, "pulls things like that out of you and will tell you what to sing and when to sing it ... even if you can’t."
McBryde recently released her sophomore major-label album, Never Will. "Shut Up Sheila," a song about processing grief in our own ways, appears on the project.