Cole Swindell paid homage to his late mother Betty with a chill-inducing performance of his chart-topping hit “You Should Be Here.”
The country superstar honored his late mother, Betty Carol Rainey, during his performance on Thomas Rhett’s Center Point Road Tour at The Xfinity Center in Boston, MA on Saturday, September 18.
Swindell’s heartfelt tribute came during his performance of “You Should Be Here,” a song he originally wrote when his father, William Keith Swindell, unexpectedly passed away while he was out on tour after signing his record deal. The track was co-written by Swindell alongside Ashley Gorley and is the lead single and title track to his second studio album (2016).
“I’m not the only one whose ever lost someone I love. I think we all have someone we wish was here tonight. And I will always have a special connection with all of you in this whole area because I will never forget the day sitting in the parking lot at Gillette Stadium writing this song right here,” Swindell recalled. “I wish y’all could see the chills on my arm right now, but I wrote it after losing my Dad y’all and your stories have inspired me. They keep me going and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for y’all.”
The country hitmaker and Georgia native continued, “on Monday I lost my Mom. I’m sure a lot of you have heard. Thank you for all of the messages, thank you for the sign. We had her service [on] Wednesday and I flew out because Thomas Rhett said ‘hey man, take the weekend off, go to our beach house and just relax’ and I said ‘there’s no way I’m missing being up here, being in front of a crowd like this. These people have had my back since day one’ and I can promise you, My mama, she wouldn’t want me sitting at home, she would want me on stage in front of a crowd like this; people who care, people who matter.”
After a touching speech to the crowd, Swindell requested that the sold-out audience light up their cell phones and “sing to somebody you’re thinking about up there that’s got a better seat than us tonight.”
“Wow, that looks like Heaven,” Swindell said, referencing the sea of lights that sparkled throughout the capacity crowd as they participated in a massive sing-a-long.
Watch the emotion-filled moment in the fan-captured video below.
Swindell’s mother Betty passed away on Monday, September 13. The singer/songwriter shared the unfortunate news of his mom’s passing on Instagram stories on Monday evening.
“Took this on the flight home to Georgia this afternoon,” Swindell wrote. “Lost my sweet Mom today. I know she’s up there. Gonna miss her so much. Love y’all.”
Swindell’s words were accompanied by a photo of the sun in the sky amongst the clouds.
Her cause of death was not revealed.
Swindell, 38, previously opened up about his relationship with this mother, revealing that she is who keeps him “humble.”
“She’s the one that, no matter how stressed out I get, if I wanna be here or wanna be there, she is always the first person to remind me, ‘Come on, Cole. Think about it. Me and you would have never thought you’d be where you are right now.’ I always say that, but I mean it because it takes someone like her to put it all in perspective,” Swindell told PopCulture.com.
“This world, this business, it keeps you on the ground, always wondering what’s next, instead of thinking about, ‘Look at what we’ve done,’” he added. “She’s always the one that’s the first to remind me, and I can’t thank her enough.”