Chris Young made an appearance at Wednesday’s CMT Artists of the Year event to perform his emotional new single, “Drowning,” in honor of Kane Brown’s drummer, Kenny Dixon, who passed away on Saturday at the age of 27.
“I wrote this song about a friend of mine that passed away too soon in a car accident,” Young shared as he took the stage. “I kind of empathize with Kane and what he’s going through and I really appreciate him allowing me to stand up here tonight and sing this in honor of his friend, Kenny.”
He went on to deliver a chilling performance of “Drowning,” which finds Young reminiscing about someone who was “taken way too soon.”
“So tonight I’m gonna pull out pictures / Ones with you in ’em / Laugh and cry a little while reminiscing by myself / I can’t help at all but think about it / How you were taken way too soon / It ain’t the same here without you / I’ve gotta say, missin’ you comes in waves / And tonight I’m drowning,” he sings throughout the chorus.
Young received a standing ovation for his heartfelt performance.
Young’s performance was just one of several emotional moments throughout the night, including Thomas Rhett’s impromptu prayer and Brown’s heartwrenching acceptance speech where he dedicated his award to his longtime friend and band member.
Kenny Dixon, 27, passed away on Saturday after reportedly losing control of his car while traveling on Interstate 24 in Christiana, Tenn. He leaves behind a fiancée and young son.
Dixon will be laid to rest on Sunday, October 20.