Country star Granger Smith found a special way to honor his 3-year-old son, River, after losing him in an accidental drowning in his family’s pool earlier this month.
The 39-year-old country singer took the stage for the first time Sunday in Chicago after sharing with fans the heartbreaking news that he and his wife, Amber Smith, had lost their son in a “tragic accident,” according to the “Today” show in a piece published Tuesday.
On his right arm, fans noticed a large tattoo with the word “River” in script when he performed at the Country LakeShake music festival. (RELATED: Country Stars Remember Las Vegas Victims During CMT Awards)
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During his show, the “Backroad Song” hitmaker sang a version of his hit “Heaven Bound Ballons” and clearly got emotional as he sang the lyric, “We miss you and we love you.” During the set, he also pointed to the sky several times and ended up going 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
It comes following a report about how the country star’s wife, Amber, opened up about how she and the family is dealing with the heartbreaking loss. (RELATED: Why, 2017?! Celebrities We Have Lost This Year [SLIDESHOW])
“We just happened to be in the same city as the ‘biiiigggggggest T-Rex’ ever found,” Amber captioned her post on Instagram. “We had to make a trip to see it in honor of River. This dinosaur was discovered in FAITH, South Dakota by a woman named Sue.”
“And he died by a River,” she added. “Open your eyes and you will see signs all around you. We think just maybe, Riv is having the best time of his life in Heaven.”
“Getting back on the road and back into daily life without River has not been easy in the slightest,” Amber continued. “Every single thing reminds me of him, and all I can think about is how he would love exploring and seeing all that we are seeing. I see his name everywhere, I see little red-headed toddlers everywhere.”
“I miss his silly personality and his bright light,””Granger smith’s wife explained. “I see his face in our other kiddos. I have this pit in my stomach constantly, because I’m trying to make life as normal as possible for our other 2 incredible kiddos, London and Lincoln, while hurting so bad inside.”
Granger and Amber are also parents of 7-year-old London Smith and 5-year-old Lincoln Monarch Smith.