What This 1989 Song Means to Granger Smith Now

Garth Brooks' "If Tomorrow Never Comes" Is Helping Him Heal

In early June, the country music world wrapped their virtual arms around Granger Smith after his youngest son River died tragically at the family’s Texas home.

Now, almost six weeks later, Smith is opening up about the healing process, and how much music is a part of it. On what he calls a special night, he made the eight-minute video to update his fans, friends and family about how he and his wife Amber and their two older children, London, 7, and Lincoln, 5, are doing.

Smith shot the video backstage, at the show where he was opening for Garth Brooks.

“My grandmother loved ’If Tomorrow Never Comes,'” Smith recalled. “And when my grandad died she engraved on his tombstone, If tomorrow never comes, will you know how much I love you?”

(Brooks has said of that 1989 song, “I ran the idea for this song by what seemed like a thousand writers and no one really seemed to understand what I was looking for. On the day that Bob Doyle, my co-manager, introduced me to Kent Blazy, I passed this idea by Kent and he had the first verse down within fifteen seconds. I could tell he just felt it.”)

“Tonight, everything came full circle because we’re out here on tour with Garth Brooks. The guy who taught me as a little kid how powerful lyrics can be. Here in a stadium, playing ’Heaven Bound Balloon’ to a Garth Brooks crowd, I knew that that was gonna mean something to me. To give a tribute in my own way to Riv.”

Smith goes on to say that music has always been healing to his family, and now more so than ever. “Maybe that’s why people say, ’How can you play a show?’ It’s because music is healing. The fans are healing me. You guys are doing the healing for me. It works both ways.”

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