Vince Gill Talks Performing on Maren Morris' Moving 'Dear Hate,' Released Following Las Vegas Shooting

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum
Maren Morris and Vince Gill attend All For The Hall at the Bridgestone Arena on April 12, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.  

"This is one of my favorite things I've ever done."

Following Oct. 1’s Las Vegas massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival that left 58 country music fans dead and more than 500 injured, Maren Morris released “Dear Hate” featuring Vince Gill.

The gentle ballad looks at times through history when it has seemed as if hate has gotten the upper hand -- the state troopers turning on marchers fighting for civil rights in Selma, John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- only to have love conquer all.

Morris, who performed at Route 91 on Sept. 30, wrote the song with Tom Douglas and David Hodges in 2015, two days after a gunman killed nine parishioners at a Charleston, South Carolina, but had struggled with the right time to release it.

At the time, she sent the song to Gill to ask him to add harmonies and guitar, but she got way more than she bargained for. Gill was so touched by the song that he took it a step further and turned the song into a duet.

“I was so moved I did something I've never done before -- I sang one of the verses unsolicited,” Gill tells Billboard in an exclusive statement. “After I finished and sent her my contributions, I told her she didn't have to use it, but explained I felt compelled to sing those words. I’m so glad she decided to include it.”

The song, released via YouTube last Monday less than 24 hours after the shooting, soared to No. 1 on the iTunes chart on Oct. 4 shortly after Columbia Nashville provided it to all digital retailers for purchase or streaming. Morris’ proceeds from the track will be donated to Las Vegas non-profits for immediate and long-term needs of the victims.

Gill, who has now joined the Eagles following Glenn Frey’s death, is no stranger to guesting on other artists’ songs, whether it’s Chris Young’s “Sober Saturday Night,” Faith Hill’s “Let Me Let Go,” or dozens more. But he holds “Dear Hate” in special regard.

“Over the years I’ve been asked to contribute to a lot of songs," he adds. "This is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. Thank you, Maren, for letting me share this sentiment with you.”