One year after the death of Joey Feek, one-half of the Indiana-native Rory + Joey duo, the couple took home a Grammy Award.
The couple was awarded Best Roots Gospel Album for "Hymns," a 2016 top-seller.
Rory fought back tears during his speech to thousands of attendees and even more watching the live show.
“She sang her vocals in hotel rooms while she did chemo and radiation and it finally came out a year ago, almost exactly,” said Rory. “And we sat together in the final days and watched this award ceremony last year — and she said, ‘If we get nominated, promise me you will come.’ And I said ‘I will.'”
He continued: “This is to my wife,” he said. “Thank you so much.”
— Graeme O'Neil (@GraemeONeil) February 12, 2017
In 2015, Joey + Rory was nominated for best country duo/group performance for their song, “If I Needed You,” but instead of attending the live event, the two watched the show from her childhood home near Alexandria, Indiana.
Joey had been diagnosed with rapidly-spreading cervical cancer. She decided to stop treatment and returned to Alexandria. In March 2016, at the age of 40, Joey lost her battle.
Although the Feeks did not bring home a win that year, Rory made a promise to his wife – that if they were nominated for an award in 2017, he would attend.
The couple married in 2002 and went on to record seven albums.
Rory and Joey initially worked in the music industry separately but found success on stage after appearing on “Can You Duet?” in 2008. Their first album, “The Life of a Song” was released that same year and dominated the charts.
They both went on to collect Academy of Country Music Awards before Joey took time off to give birth to the couple’s daughter, Indiana.
Rory is raising Indiana, who was diagnosed with down syndrome, on a small farm about an hour south of Nashville, TN.
His blog, "This Life I Live," details his life with Joey and his life following her death.
Like when he reflected on the time he was asked to cut Joey’s hair due to the effects of chemotherapy, in a post titled “When love makes your hair fall off.”
In his blog, Rory also writes about reading to Indiana, who was named after Rory’s two favorite Indiana-based films “Hoosiers” and “Rudy,” or playing with her in the snow.
The success of This Life I Live led Rory to write a book titled, "This Life I Live: One Man's Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed It Forever."
Rory’s work, set to release on Valentine’s Day, will detail the Feeks relationship and their journey to faith.