June 14, 2016


Christina Grimmie's Brother Gives Speech at Vigil, Supports Orlando Victims

Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Fans, family and friends mourned Christina Grimmie at a candlelight vigil in Evesham, N.J. on Monday night, still reeling from the 22-year-old singer's murder in Orlando, Fla. on Friday. Marcus Grimmie, the former Voice contestant's brother, who tackled the 27-year-old gunman at the scene of the tragedy, spoke to those in attendance. "Christina was awesome," he said. "She loved this town, she loved this state, she loved singing, she loved the lord and she loved me and she was just my baby sister." He added that "witnesses say she was arms open wide" as the shooter approached.

Marcus referenced the mass shooting that occurred in Orlando's Pulse, a gay nightclub, over the same terrible weekend:

"About four miles away from where we were staying, there was a huge tragedy to Orlando, to the U.S. to the LGBT community and to the whole world. I mean, 50 people dead, who knows who is injured. And I come home to this…I have no words. All of those people that died and are suffering. My heart goes out."

Grimmie acknowledged that his sister and their family were fortunate to have the mass love of fans, thanks to Christina's celebrity status, unlike those killed at Pulse. "These people didn't have that. And we're blessed to, so I'm at a great peace right now."

Go read Billboard's full account of the vigil, which includes comments from young folks acquainted with Grimmie, like 13-year-old Brianna Hunt: “If you were [ever] upset," she said, "she would be the one to come up, give you a hug."