Craig Wayne Boyd Reflects on Christina Grimmie’s Death: ‘We Can’t Let Fear Win’
22-year-old Grimmie was shot and mortally wounded at a meet and greet after a concert in Orlando, Fla., on June 10, and died from her wounds early the following morning. The gunman, 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl, died at the scene of the shooting after turning the gun on himself. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Loibl was a fan of the singer who had become increasingly fixated on her in the weeks and months leading to her murder, believing that they were destined to be together.
"It touched home with me, because it was an artist that was on The Voice a season before me," Boyd, who won Season 7, tells Taste of Country. "Any artist will tell you, the meet and greets, and the personal connection to the fans, that's a lot of why we do what we do. Knowing that what we're doing actually matters to someone. And for that time and intimate moment to be violated like it was in this instance is devastating."
It's forced him to look at those moments in a different light, he adds. "It makes you wonder about yourself; 'Am I putting myself in harm's way?' Because I want to be around for a while. But ultimately we can't let fear win. We have to continue to push on. I haven't let it stop me yet."
While Boyd has never been threatened, he admits there have been moments with fans where he's been placed in an uncomfortable spot since rocketing to television fame on the reality singing competition.
"I've been in Nashville since 2004, and walked the streets and played the honky tonks, and that's what I've been used to," he relates. "To come off a show that threw rocket fuel on all expectations that I ever had of playing country music, it brings out fans that you don't expect. I've had a few moments, especially the first few months off of The Voice ... people flying in from overseas and things like that. Moments where I was just looking around for security, like, 'All right, this is a little bit more than I can handle at the moment.'"
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