Country artists expressed heartbreak as new information emerged about a tragedy at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee. Seven — including three children, three staff members and the gunman — died in a shooting at Covenant School on Monday morning (March 27). The school is for children in preschool through 6th grade.
“My heart is broken and prayers for all involved in todays horrible school shooting in Nashville,” Chris Janson wrote in a tweet early Monday afternoon.
Jessie James Decker urged others to “please pray for these babies, these families,” as she tearfully spoke about the tragedy. She also assured that her children, who do not attend the school, are safe and she picked them up immediately. Similarly, Jana Kramer assured in a statement on her Instagram story that her children are OK, adding: “My heart is absolutely breaking for the children and families right now…. Why. Why. Why. I just will never understand. Please pray.” She added later, in part: “It wasn’t their [her kids’] school. I know someone that works there though and we have friends that have kids there… it all just feels too close to home. I just don’t understand. We need prayers and then action.”
Brittany Aldean, Jason Aldean’s wife, wrote a prayer: “Lord Jesus, please send a flood of angels to all of the parents at the Covenant school God our hearts break with yours for these families. Lord, help us to see the way through this continued evil. In the end You alone conquer evil.”
Brittney Kelley, singer-songwriter Brian Kelley's wife, said she’s “sick to my stomach,” in a note on her Instagram story. “I will never comprehend how a HUMAN can be so evil. Praying for all the families. I am a victim of gun violence taking my loved one & I feel the pain so deeply every time I see news like this. Pure evil that only God can punish.”
RaeLynn struggled to find words as she wrote, “I have been in tears all morning. Praying for these precious families today that lost their BABIES. Jesus please be near and surround this community.”
Kelsea Ballerini said she’s “heartbroken,” “triggered,” “angry” and “terrified for the loss we continue to have in this country due to guns,” she wrote as she mourned the “three f***ing kids,” and wondered, “what are we doing.”
Mickey Guyton also expressed her anger and heartbreak: “I try to stay off here for my mental health but for the love of God! As a mother, I’m pissed the f*** off. Shame on every single politician ok with doing nothing as CHILDREN are getting assassinated on an everyday basis in a place that is supposed to be their safe haven.”
Summer Pardi, Jon Pardi’s wife, was also “heartbroken for these families,” and “sick to my stomach that this keeps happening… I don’t understand how this kind of evil exists.”
Maren Morris wrote “oh my god” with a broken heart emoji as she shared a Nashville Fire Department tweet on her Instagram story. Her husband, fellow singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd, added: “”I don’t even know what to say. I have been in tears all day. This is our back yard. I don’t know if I know these people but I know they are at the very least friends of friends without even knowing their names. For 6 families, ‘could have been worse’ is just not true. We are heartbroken. I just want to hug these families, cry with them. I pray and I mourn with them. I am just so sad. I feel helpless. I hold them up in love and also rage. There are kids who will never come home and I cannot handle that. Beautiful, sweet babies who are learning cursive and playing soccer on the weekends. I am so sorry and so sad. I don’t know how to wrap this up because there is no wrapping it up. Love to each and every one of you. May you know what it means to be loved and to be safe. I love you.”
Nicole Combs, wife of Luke Combs, was “in tears” as she watched the news. She wrote in a statement on her Instagram story: “I will never understand how people can do this. Praying for these families.”
Some called for change in response to the Covenant School tragedy. Hayley Hubbard, married to singer-songwriter Tyler Hubbard, said she’s “heartbroken and devastated for families that are affected by yet another mass shooting. Right here in our own backyard. I’m angry. and honestly, I just don’t have the words as I process what happened today and what continues to happen…largely because of money and politics. This has to stop. How much closer to home does it have to get, Tennessee, for us to do something about this?!”
“I have no words right now,” Priscilla Block said in a statement shared on her Instagram story. “My prayers are with my Nashville Community and every family affected by todays tragedy. Something HAS to change. Schools should be a safe place for our teachers and children. This world is getting scary. Hug your people a little tighter and a little longer. Gosh… my heart hurts.”
Brothers Osborne artist John Osborne shared his thoughts in a video, leaving the NICU after feeding one of his newborns for the first time (he and his wife, Lucie Silvas, welcomed twins last week). He said the school shooting — “one of the most tragic events that could ever happen in someone’s life” — took place “less than 10 minutes away” from him. As a new parent, he said, “it all very much hits different now.” Osborne went on to call out state officials for aiming to “ban f***ing drag shows…apparently, it’s to keep the kids safe,” rather than anything to help prevent similar incidents (warning: language).
“We failed so many families today, and no apology is going to fix it,” Kacey Musgraves wrote in a statement on her Instagram story. “Our politicians are too concerned with limiting our access to reproductive health and stripping away our rights to be who we want to be. They feel that women who don’t want to be pregnant, and the LGBTQ+ community are the biggest threat to our society and to our children’s safety. But that’s not reality, is it. The reality of today is that a gun was the biggest threat to our children’s safety. The reality of today is that deteriorating mental health, and lack of resources was the biggest threat to our children’s safety. People will go to sleep tonight with one less family member because our politicians prioritize religious control and power over public health and safety.
“I am so sorry to all the families that lost someone today,” Musgraves concluded. “We have to do better.”