"Country music is a family that rallies together": How Brantley Gilbert believes we’ll get through an "absolutely unspeakable" tragedy

Valory Music Co. Brantley Gilbert wasn’t at this year’s Route 91 Harvest Festival, where at least 59 people lost their lives, and more than 500 were injured in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. But the Georgia native was quick to check on his booking agent, his business manager, and recent tourmate Luke Combs, who were all there when the tragedy happened in Las Vegas.

“What they described to me was absolutely unspeakable,” Brantley says, “and not being there, you can't pretend to relate. All I really know to say is that what's happened is unimaginable. It's tragic, and this is a time for all of us to lean on prayer. It's crazy that even that seems like an understatement.”  

The singer behind the new hit, “The Ones That Like Me,” believes one thing that will help us get through -- is the close connection between the country artists and the fans.

“Country music has a way,” Brantley explains, “it's a family that rallies together, so I pray that we do that. My prayers and my family's prayers are for the victims and their families. We wish them the best and we're praying hard for 'em.”

Just like Jason Aldean -- who was on stage when the tragedy occurred -- Brantley and his wife are expecting a baby later this year.

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Watch now: Maren Morris talks new album and "soulful" CMA Awards performance

Watch now: Maren Morris talks new album and "soulful" CMA Awards performanceABC/Image Group LAAt Wednesday's CMA Awards, Maren Morris is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for "Dear Hate."  She'll be performing on the ABC telecast with Chris Stapleton and soul/gospel music legend Mavis Staples.  She says she can't reveal too much about the performance, but says it'll have a lot of soul.

"I know that we're doing some really soulful stuff," she tells ABC Radio.  "I've never met Mavis but I'm such a fan and Chris and I, I've opened for him in the past and both his and my careers both sort of launched at the CMA Awards...but it's cool to be coming together on the CMA stage."

Meanwhile, Maren is officially finished with her second album. "Believe me, I promise, in the new year, very early, it's gonna be out!" she tells ABC Radio.

One song that won't be on that album, though, is "Dear Hate," her CMA-nominated duet with Vince Gill, which she released to raise money for the victims of the Las Vegas massacre. Maren says the song "lives in its own universe."

As she explains, "It's been an unexpected gift releasing 'Dear Hate,' and having the response from fans and survivors and people going through therapy right now after stuff like that, and still wanting to come see live music."

Tune into the CMA Awards Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC to watch Maren get soulful with Chris and Mavis -- and to see if "Dear Hate" can bring home the trophy.

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