Vince Gill Honors Blake Shelton’s Late Brother and Toby Keith With Heartfelt Tribute At All For The Hall Concert In Oklahoma

Gill admitted he wanted to do “something sweet” to honor the memories of his brother, Shelton’s brother, and the late Toby Keith.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 2, 2024

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Vince Gill; Photo by Phil Clarkin Photography for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

On Saturday night (March 30), Vince Gill appeared as a special guest at Blake Shelton’s All for the Hall concert in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During his set, he evoked a tear-jerking moment when he performed his 1993 tune “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” which he penned following the death of his brother Bob that same year. He also let fans know that he was dedicating the spiritual song to Shelton’s late brother Richie, and their fellow Oklahoma native and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Toby Keith, who passed away of stomach cancer in February.

Gill began by thanking Shelton for inviting him to be a part of the event that served as a successful fundraiser for the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s education programs.

Vince Gill with guitarist Jack Schneider; Photo by Phil Clarkin Photography for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Vince Gill with guitarist Jack Schneider; Photo by Phil Clarkin Photography for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

“I was grateful that Blake invited me to do this. I want to thank him on behalf of all of us and especially the people at the Country Music Hall of Fame. All the proceeds tonight are going to benefit the Country Music Hall of Fame. So grateful,” he told the audience. 

The Country Music Hall of Fame member went on to explain that he decided he wanted to do “something sweet” to honor the memories of their late family members as well as Toby Keith. While donning jeans and a blue and white flannel, Gill strummed his acoustic guitar and began belting out the emotional lyrics to “Go Rest High on That Mountain.”

“I know your life/ On earth was troubled/ And only you could know the pain/ You weren’t afraid to face the devil/ You were no stranger to the rain/ Go rest high on that mountain/ Son your work on earth is done/ Go to heaven a-shoutin’/ Love for the Father and the Son,” he sang. 

When Did Shelton’s Brother Pass Away?

Blake Shelton was just 14 years old when he lost his 24-year-old Richard Lee “Dick” Shelton in a car accident on November 13, 1990, in Oklahoma.

“My brother was my big brother. I mean, I wanted to be him,” he previously said in an interview with Cowboys & Indians. “I wanted to look like him, dress like him, listen to what he listened to, and be into the things he was into. So when he was killed in a car accident, it was literally like the world went silent. There was a void in my world all of a sudden, and I’m still not over it. I’m just used to it.”

This Tragedy Inspired The Heartfelt Song “Over You”

Shelton took those emotions he was feeling and poured them into a song with help from his then-wife, Miranda Lambert. The female songstress ended up being the one to record the tune titled “Over You” as Shelton was unsure if he could manage getting through the song on stage knowing what the lyrics meant to him. Lambert released her recording on January 19, 2012 and featured it on her fourth studio album, Four the Record.  “Over You” went on to win the title of Song of the Year at the ACM Awards and CMA Awards.

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Shelton Admits Toby Keith “Wanted” To Be Part Of The Oklahoma Concert

Although Toby Keith could not be present for the concert, Shelton recently admitted to the night’s host, Storme Warren of TuneIn Radio’s The Big 615, that the late country icon wanted to be a part of the celebratory evening as he too was a proud Oklahoma native.

“Toby wanted to do it…If you couldn’t physically see him, you would never know that he was sick.”

Warren then assured that Keith “will be there in spirit.”

L-R -Justin Adams, Colton and Zach Swon of the Swon Brothers, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, Kristin Chenoweth, Storme Warren, Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill and Wade Hayes. Photo by Jamie Wendt for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Who Else Performed?

Saturday’s All for the Hall event in Oklahoma marked the end of Blake Shelton’s 2024 Back to the Honky Tonk Tour. In addition to Vince Gill, the evening welcomed several other Okies as special guests, including Kristin Chenoweth, Wade Hayes, the Swon Brothers, and Country Music Hall of Fame members Ronnie Dunn and Vince Gill. Shelton’s wife, Gwen Stefani even joined him on stage to deliver a trio of duets. 

This proved to be the most successful fundraiser of the series that has taken place outside of Nashville as it raised nearly $800,000 for the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s education programs. The money from the concert will go towards the nonprofit museum’s educational initiatives, including its flagship Words & Music program. This unique program gives students the chance to hone in on their songwriting skills by penning original song lyrics while simultaneously developing language-arts skills. These educational opportunities directly served more than 230,000 people last year though in-person and virtual programs.

Vince Gill is responsible for starting the All for the Hall series of fundraising concerts back in 2005 when he had the idea to have country music artists donate the proceeds from one annual performance to the nonprofit Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. More information is available at countrymusichalloffame.org/learn

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.