A new Amazon Music mini-documentary celebrates Kane Brown‘s career-milestone arena show in Los Angeles last month, but its most poignant moment occurs when it lingers on who wasn’t there: Brown’s drummer, Kenny Dixon, who died in a one-car accident last October.
The show at Staples Center, Brown’s first arena to headline, was originally scheduled for Oct. 18, but it was postponed after Dixon was killed outside of Nashville just six days before the date. It’s obvious from the 30-minute doc, which premieres on YouTube Thursday, that his absence was weighing heavily on the hearts of Kane and his entire team.
Just before taking the stage, Brown is shown huddled with his band leading a cheer in Dixon’s name, their plastic cups raised in a toast.
Earlier, in one brief scene, the 26-year-old singer appears too stricken to speak about his friend. Others, though, are able to find words.
“It takes a big toll because everybody’s family,” Brown’s friend David Bliek says to the camera. “When something like that happened, it just tore [Brown] apart.”
Brown’s day-to-day manager, Nikki Boon, says Dixon was “such a light to the whole crew. He was so positive. He was always just pumping every single person up.”
Brown’s wife, Katelyn, tearfully explains, “Kane and those guys are brothers, and this is everything to them.”
During a Q&A after a special screening Tuesday night in Nashville, Brown echoed his wife’s sentiments when asked what he hopes viewers will take from the film.
“Just that everybody who works with me is family,” he said, “and that I’m grateful for everybody that’s helped me get where I’m at and continue to be with me everywhere we go.”
Indeed, much of the film, entitled Velocity, tells the story of Brown’s high-speed rise to country stardom, a journey that began when he started posting homemade videos on YouTube just seven years ago. His albums and singles have since topped the charts, and two hits, “Heaven” and “What Ifs,” are multi-platinum sellers. Current single, “Homesick,” is now in the top 5, and his collaboration with Marshmello, "One Right Thing," is his first top 20 pop single.
Of course, the most recent accomplishment in Brown’s life is the birth of his daughter, Kingsley Rose, on Oct. 29. The 3-month-old, asleep in a stroller, was at the screening, along with her mom.
Brown has released a musical tribute, “For My Daughter,” to honor Kingsley’s birth, and in the doc, he can be seen commemorating fatherhood another way: A tattoo artist inscribes Kingsley’s name down the right side of Brown’s neck. Brown picked the spot, he explained after the screening, to be sure people could see it.
The screening took place at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium, where Brown is now rehearsing for the North American leg of his Worldwide Beautiful Tour. It kicks off Feb. 29 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and finishes up May 9 in Kansas City.
An EP featuring recordings of live performances from Brown’s Staples Center concert is now available on Amazon Music.
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