Granger Smith Honors Late Son River With ‘Heaven Bound Balloons’ Performance [WATCH]
Granger Smith's Sunday (June 23) performance at the 2019 Country LakeShake Festival in Chicago, Ill., was one of his first since the death of his 3-year-old son River, and the country singer marked the occasion with a stirring tribute to his late boy. Smith's set at the festival included a stirring version of his recently released song "Heaven Bound Balloons," which readers can watch above.
Smith released "Heaven Bound Balloons" as a one-off new song in April; the lyrics, which Smith connects to his late father, talks about sending messages to Heaven via balloons, and receiving signs from deceased loved ones. He was visibly emotional as he sang and, after pulling one of River's beloved Lightning McQueen toy cars out of his pocket, walked offstage to compose himself before returning for the rest of his set.
Smith was also sporting a new tattoo at the Country LakeShake Festival, in River's memory. The word "River" is now inked on Smith's right forearm in a flowing script.
River Kelly Smith, who turned three in May, drowned at the Smiths' home on June 6. The singer's wife Amber and their two older children, London and Lincoln, have joined him on the road in the wake of the tragedy.
"We are gonna search for every bit of good that we can find in this situation, the worst situation that we've been through, hopefully ever," Smith says. "We are going to constantly search for the meaning behind all of this ... We're not going to get caught up in the reasons ... but we'll find the meaning, and the good, in this."
When they first shared the news of River's death, the Smiths asked that, in lieu of flowers or gifts, those wishing to express their sympathy make donations to the Dell Children's Medical Center in River's name. A T-shirt in memory of River, the proceeds from which are also going to Dell Children's Medical Center, raised $218,791 for the hospital. Smith and his family will visit the hospital on Tuesday (June 25) to present the check.
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