Just a few days following the release of his 15th full-length studio album, Okie, music icon, Vince Gill, celebrated his incredibly successful career with an intimate performance at the iHeartCountry ICONS show in NYC hosted by Cody Alan. Performing a handful of his previous hits as well as new songs off his most recent project, Gill gave fans a night they won't forget.
To kick the set off, Gill played his second career No. 1 hit song, “For The Last Time,” written by Gill himself alongside Gary Nicholson. Playing songs from earlier in his career, such as this classic, reminds Gill just how grateful he is for the experience he’s had throughout his career in music. “More than anything, I feel grateful,” Gill explains. “I made my first record 45 years ago and I’m a 62-year-old man. It feels great to have new music and play new music, but it also feels great to know that you had an impact for a stretch of your life.”
Gill then transitioned into a special cover of the Eagles’ fan-favorite, "Desperado." Although he’s heard the song many times since joining the Eagles on tour in 2017, this was actually Gill’s first time ever singing it himself. “There’s a side of it that is beyond terrifying,” Gill shares about stepping into the legendary band. “The Eagles were just right in my wheel-house- the way they wrote songs, the way they did harmonies, the way they structured solos, the way they arranged songs- everything about what they did was inspiring to me.”
After performing his rendition of “Desperado,” Gill then sang his hit song “Liza Jane” followed by a brand new powerful song, “Forever Changed” off the new album, Okie. The new deep-cut track speaks truth about a difficult topic and one that Gill feels he has a personal connection to, sexual abuse. He opens up about a personal experience he had in the seventh grade when his basketball coach at the time started acting inappropriately. Gill knew immediately something wasn’t right. “So I just ran. I was just lucky in that I knew something’s not right. I know there were a lot of kids that went through that program that probably weren’t as lucky.”
Gill goes on to explain, “I was not abused sexually as a child, but I almost was. I tell that because I want people to know I have a heart for it and I want to have a voice for innocent people.” Although some artists try to stray away from difficult subjects like this, Gill believes his music can be used for good if the song has “a little bit of grace and a little bit of kindness.”
Gill sings in "Forever Changed" chorus, "You put your hands where they don't belong / And now her innocence is dead and gone/ She feels dirty, she feels ashamed/ Because of you, she's forever changed."
"Forever Changed" is one of several other songs off the new Okie album in which Gill aims to connect and reflect on life at a deeper level. "
A Letter To My Mama" is a reflective record on the album that Gill wrote specifically for his mother years ago and also performed live. "There's a song I wrote for my mom that is old. It's 18 years old and my mom is 93, Gill explains. "I knew I had to do this, you know, before it's too late. I wanted her to get to hear this song."
Other songs played throughout the night include “One More Last Chance," "I Still Believe In You,” “Pretty Little Adriana,” and “Whenever You Come Around.”
Congrats to the country music icon on a successful career and his new album, Okie.
Vince Gill's Okie tracklist:
- I Don’t Want To Ride the Rails No More
- The Price of Regret
- Forever Changed
- An Honest Man
- What Choice Will You Make
- Black and White
- The Red Words
- When My Amy Prays
- A Letter To My Mama
- Nothin’ Like A Guy Clark
- That Old Man of Mine
- A World Without Haggard
Photos: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartRadio