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Granger Smith made his first stage performance since the drowning death of his three – year-old son River on Sunday (6/23) at Chicago’s Lake Shake Fest.

Often pointing to the sky during his performance, Granger Smith sang a heartfelt version of his song “Heaven Bound Balloons,” featuring the lyrics, “We miss you and we love you.”

Also tattooed on his right arm was his son’s name River.

One fan posted to Twitter, “The best & worst moment at @LakeShakeFest @GrangerSmith singing Heaven Bound Balloons. We could see & feel the pain in all their eyes, but when G pulled out McQueen? Gut wrenching! We love you Granger! Thank you for being you. You’re stronger than you know. #LiveLikeRiv.”

-Nancy Brooks