Vince Gill revealed his own story of sexual abuse as a child before he performed at the Ryman Auditorium as part of Universal Music Group Nashville’s CRS showcase in Nashville Tuesday afternoon.
Prefacing “Forever Changed,” a song about a woman dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse, he told the audience that the track was inspired by a similar situation he faced in middle school.
“Maybe this song came from a personal experience for me. I was in seventh 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.”
He continued, “I was just fortunate that I got up and I ran. I just jumped up and I ran. I don’t know why. I don’t think I ever told anybody my whole life. Even what’s been going on has been giving me a little bit of courage to speak up too.”
While Vince wrote “Forever Changed” several years ago, he decided to debut it at the famed venue in light of the #MeToo movement, and dedicated “Forever Changed” to those suffering in pain following sexual assault.
Powerful lyrics include, “Too afraid to tell someone/You might as well have used a gun/She cries to Jesus to ease the pain/Because of you/She’s forever changed.”