Country star Granger Smith returned to the stage and with a tattoo in honor of his late son, River.
Smith, 39, performed Sunday for the first time since 3-year-old River’s death earlier this month.
Smith closed out three days of the Country LakeShake musical festival in Chicago, and debuted his new tattoo on his arm. It says his son’s name.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) June 25, 2019
During his performance, Smith sang “Heaven Bound Balloons,” during which he often pointed to the sky, Today reports. He walked backstage before the song was over.
The best & worst moment at @LakeShakeFest @GrangerSmith singing Heaven Bound Balloons. We could see & feel the pain in all their eyes, but when G pulled out McQueen? Gut wrenching! We love you Granger! Thank you for being you. You’re stronger than you know. #LiveLikeRiv pic.twitter.com/UORnaSgEnR
— Laura Mathis (@MrsLauraM) June 24, 2019
River died in a drowning incident at home.
Both Smith and his wife, Amber Smith, originally shared the devastating news on social media, saying that “despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived.”
Smith posted a brokenhearted message to Instagram, calling the news “unthinkable.”
“I have to deliver unthinkable news. We’ve lost our youngest son, River Kelly Smith. Following a tragic accident, and despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived. Amber and I made the decision to say our last goodbyes and donate his organs so that other children will be given a second chance at life,” the singer wrote. “Our family is devastated and heartbroken, but we take solace in knowing he is with his Heavenly Father. Riv was special. Everyone that met him knew that immediately. The joy he brought to our lives cannot be expressed and his light will be forever in our hearts. If there are words to say more, I cannot find them in this moment. Love the ones close to you. There has never been a more difficult moment for us than this.”