“I miss you,” Brown says onstage to Kenny Dixon. “The band misses you.”
Following the death of Kenny Dixon, country star Kane Brown shared his condolences for his longtime drummer — who died in a car crash on Saturday — and announced that he was canceling Friday's concert at LA's Staples Center. But he felt it was important to show up Wednesday night (Oct. 16) to accept his CMT Artists of the Year honor and pay tribute to his fallen friend.
"Thank y'all so much," Brown said, accepting his trophy from fellow country star Chris Young. Brown then teared up and let out a heavy sigh before continuing through sobs: "I want to dedicate this to my drummer Kenny. He started with me coming out of Chattanooga off Facebook. People didn't think we would make it. He was with me the whole time. He was so supportive of me. I love you, man. I miss you. The band misses you."
His comments echoed the caption Brown posted on Instagram over the weekend, writing alongside a photo of him and the drummer onstage: "You started all of this with me from the start in 2015 when no body else believed we would make it out of Chattanooga playing for 500 people and your last show was in a Fn Stadium my guy."
After thanking his management, CMT and the country community, Brown ended his speech with this poignant sign-off: "God bless you guys, y'all stay safe."
Watch his full speech below:
Brown is one of five honorees at Wednesday's CMT Artists of the Year event, sharing the stage with Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Thomas Rhett and Luke Combs.