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'The Voice' Winner Cassadee Pope Dedicates CMA Music Fest Performance to Christina Grimmie

Cassadee Pope
Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Monarch Publicity

Cassadee Pope performs live on stage for the "I'm Comin' Over" Tour 2016 at PlayStation Theater on Feb. 25, 2016 in New York City.  

Slain singer Christina Grimmie was on the minds of some of the artists performing at CMA Music Festival in Nashville this weekend, including Cassadee Pope who, like Grimmie, rose to fame on NBC’s The Voice.

Pope appeared at Nissan Stadium Saturday night (June 11) to perform her hit duet with Chris Young, “Think of You.” Speaking with media backstage beforehand, she said of Grimmie, “I’m performing on her behalf tonight.”

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As previously reported. Grimmie was fatally shot while meeting with fans after a show in Orlando, Fla., Friday night. The heavily armed killer, who local police have identified as 27-year-old James Loibl, also shot and killed himself after being tackled by Grimmie’s brother.

Grimmie, 22, took third place as a member of Adam Levine’s team on season six of The Voice. Pope was the winner of the show’s third season in 2012.

“My heart goes out to her family and friends,” Pope said backstage at CMA Music Festival. “I met her a few times and, obviously, I’m a fan of what she did and her work, so it’s just a really sad day for everybody.”

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Prior to the shooting, Pope admitted, she’d never given much thought to her own security. The same night Grimmie was killed, Pope spent 45 minutes signing autographs for fans after one of her own shows, and said, “I had nobody checking bags or anything before they came to meet me."

“Things like [what happened] last night remind me it’s possible it can happen,” she added. “I think there’s a certain level of safely that we need to think about, but it’s impossible to foresee any of that happening.”

Young also addressed Grimmie’s death, saying, “It’s so incredibly sad that something like that happened. … It’s just such an unnecessary loss of someone’s life.”


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