This time last year, country duo Joey + Rory watched the Grammy Awards from their home. Joey Feek was laying in her hospital bed, and her husband Rory Feek sat in a chair next to her, close enough so they could hold hands.
They were nominated for Best Country Duo/Group, which ultimately went to Little Big Town, but the two were so grateful to have just been nominated. They were represented at the awards show by their adult daughters, Heidi and Hopie.
Joey was battling Stage IV cancer, which she fought vigorously with surgeries, chemo and radiation therapy, but when nothing was working, she returned home to be with family in her final days.
When Joey was diagnosed, Rory updated his blog almost daily about their life, and gained hundreds of thousands of new fans, who were now invested in their story.
Just a few weeks after last year’s Grammy Awards, on March 4, 2016, Joey took her last breath. Since then, Rory has made sure that her legacy will live on through their music, their daughter Indiana, and by honoring all of her last wishes.
Rory detailed that special night for the two of them in his blog, This Life I Live. Even though they didn’t win, they had a new perspective on their music, and even more so, their life.
“The morning after the award show, Joey looked into my eyes and said, ‘I’m sorry we didn’t win us a Grammy’. I smiled and said, ‘that’s okay’. Then jokingly, I added, ‘…there’s always next year’. She smiled back at me and said, ‘yes… next year’. And then she talked about how if we were to ever be nominated again, that I have to promise her that I would go. And I told her that I would. Then her smile widened and she winked and said, ‘and guess what… I’ll know the winner before you do’,” he wrote.
This year, they are nominated for Best Roots Gospel Album for their final album together, Hymns and Rory is fulfilling his late wife’s wish by attending the ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, February 12.
“Now I am even more thankful that I am going because she did want me to go,” Rory said, according to Billboard.
Their album is absolutely incredible and we definitely hope that they win, but in the end, Joey was right. She will know the outcome before all of us do.
Listen to their rendition of “I’ll Fly Away”, which they included on Hymns below.