In an election year marked by cutthroat tactics and naked ambition, Tim McGraw sent a very different message Sunday night at the American Country Music Awards:
“I know you got mountains to climb,” McGraw sang, “but always stay humble and kind.”
These lyrics are from McGraw’s hit song, “Humble and Kind,” and could almost be heard as a rebuke to a certain presidential candidate who very rarely exhibits those two qualities.
The country music star started by singing the song alone, surrounded by audience members gently swinging tiny lights. Then, after the second verse, dozens of people of all ages and ethnicities—also possibly as a rebuke to that candidate—joined him on stage and sang with him.
“When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you,” they sang, “when the work you put in is realized, let yourself feel the pride but always stay humble and kind.”