Country music star artist Kane Brown went to the podium at the CMT Awards and told the audience that his drummer, Kenny Dixon, had died suddenly in what he described as a “tragic accident.” He dedicated his “artist of the year” award to the 27 year old drummer.

“He started with me coming out of Chattanooga,” said Brown. “He was with me the whole time. He was so supportive of me. And I love you, man, I miss you. The band misses you.”

The Tennessean reports that the drummer’s death resulted from a car accident, the result of excessive speed:

Kenny Dixon, 27, died in a single-vehicle crash along Interstate 24 east in Christiana, about 40 miles southeast of Nashville, a preliminary report released by the Tennessee Highway Patrol shows.

The wreck took place about 12:45 a.m. Saturday near mile marker 88 and no one else was injured in the crash.

After Brown’s announcement, Thomas Rhett also received an Artist of the Year award, but he wasn’t thinking about his own success. Instead, he asked the audience to bow their head and pray. “I don’t know if this is very conventional, but can I just pray?”

The famous artists in attendance complied with his request.  Rhett prayed, “Father God, we love You so much, while also [struggling with] something that we can’t comprehend. And so right now, I pray that You would be with Kane and his family, and his drummer Kenny and his family, and bring them peace that only You know how to bring somebody.And thank You for this night. God bless country music. We love You, Jesus, and in Your name we pray, amen.”

Country legend Reba McEntire was one of the ones spotted in the audience, head bowed.  Later, she was given the “artist of the lifetime award” after Vince Gill introduced her.  The Indy Channel reports that Gill said they’d supported each other “through divorces and deaths in their families and through tours and duets. McEntire, who lost eight members of her band in an airplane crash in 1991, called the awards show an ‘inspirational, emotional night.’”

McEntire said it took “guts” for Rhett to ask an audience of celebrity musicians to pray during a television event.

“That’s what we need in this world, a little more God.”

Exactly. Watch the emotional moment here.

Image Credit: ashleydiener on Flickr

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.