Country star Kane Brown choked back tears as he honored his late drummer, Kenny Dixon, as he accepted an award at the CMT Artists of the Year awards show just four days after Dixon’s death.
Dixon was involved in a fatal car crash in Christiana, Tennessee, on Oct. 12. The accident happened just a month before he was set to marry. He was 27.
“I want to dedicate this to my drummer Kenny,” Brown said. “People didn’t think we would make it. He was with me the whole time. He was so supportive of me. I love you, man. I miss you. The band misses you.”
Dixon had been with the band since they started out.
Country singer Chris Young had presented Brown with the award and also had mentioned Dixon’s tragic death.
“Understandably, a lot of us can’t even imagine what he’s going through, but right now he felt it was really important to be here tonight,” Young said.
Singer Thomas Rhett took a moment of silence.
“I just want to lift up Kane and his family,” Rhett said. “And I want to lift up his drummer and their family. Can I just pray, really fast? Is it OK with everybody?”
Brown also paid tribute to Dixon with an Instagram message on Sunday.
“Love you so much dude!!!” he wrote. “You started all of this with me from the start in 2015 when nobody else believed we would make it out of Chattanooga playing for 500 people and your last show was in a Fn Stadium my guy. I know u will be watching over us with that redneck accent that we all love and you will never be replaced bro!!! I promise u that!!”