Brad Paisley Performs During ‘Emotional’ First Visit to Ukraine [Watch]
Brad Paisley is currently overseas making his first visit to Ukraine, after collaborating with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on a song called "Same Here" in February. Proceeds from that track went to benefit United24, which is the country's official fundraising platform.
Paisley is a global ambassador for United24, and during his current overseas trip, the singer landed in Kyiv and gave a performance in the city's Mikhailovsky Square, against a backdrop of — according to ABC — destroyed Russian military equipment.
"It's an emotional experience seeing all of this firsthand," Paisley commented during a press conference, referring to the wreckage caused by the war in Ukraine. "For me, looking around this city and being here for the first time, I'm absolutely struck by the resilience of life and the beautiful nature of the way this city is trying to thrive in the middle of conflict."
Paisley's performance included "Same Here," as well as a rousing rendition of the John Denver classic, "Take Me Home, Country Roads." During the latter song, he led the crowd in a somewhat lackluster sing-along, joking "Terrible!" when few in the audience could fill in the lyric, "West Virginia, mountain mama."
Though some things may have gotten lost in translation, Paisley's performances made an impact — though it would be hard to match the impact that being in Ukraine for the first time made on him. "I think as an American, it is one of the most inspiring things I've ever seen and I'm absolutely honored to be here," he professed.
Paisley's visit overseas also included a trip to Poland, where he visited with and played for American troops as part of a U.S. congressional delegation. The singer also had the chance to meet President Zelenskyy for the first time, after first becoming involved with the politician and the country's rebuilding efforts during the "Ukraine: Answering the Call" charity telethon in 2022.