At Thursday night’s (May 11) 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards, Old Dominion took a moment during their group of the year acceptance speech to acknowledge recent mass shootings — including one over the weekend that took place just 20 minutes from the awards show venue.
Old Dominion singer Matthew Ramsey took the mic and marveled at the room full of legends inside Frisco, Texas’ Ford Center at The Star, but he also referenced people struggling to understand the “divisiveness and shootings” in our country.
“There are people obviously hurting in the world right now trying to figure out how to make sense of, you know, divisiveness and shootings and things like that,” Ramsey said. “There are people that are really hurting right now, and we’re so proud to be in a room full of country music fans and make music for those people, but we’re most proud to be able to make music for people that are hurting right now. So thank you for including us in this party and allowing us to make music for whoever needs it. We will continue to try and do so. And thank you to my friends here for holding me up when I need it.”
That last line referenced Ramsey steadying himself with a cane while making the speech, as he’s recovering from an ATV accident he suffered in March that forced the group to cancel a series of concerts.
On Saturday, a gunman opened fire at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas — around 14 miles from the ACM Awards venue — killing eight people and wounding seven others. The victims ranged in age from 3 to 37.
Watch Ramsey’s speech below:
This story originally appeared on Billboard