The Band Perry, a group of country music stars, is helping a family devastated by a Kentucky house fire.
The fire, which occurred Jan. 30, killed Nikki Watson and eight of her children: Madison, Kaitlyn, Morgan, Emily, Samuel, Raegan, Mark and Nathaniel.
The only survivors were Watson's 11-year-old daughter, Kylie, and husband, Chad.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, The Band Perry has reached out to the family, offering to pay the funeral expenses for all the children and Nikki. The gesture came without any clear connection between the band and the family.
"I don't know why The Band Perry reached out to the family other than they are just very gracious," family friend Pam Burden said in a CNN article. "The family doesn't have any personal connection to the band before now."
After extending the generous offer, the band did not personally promote its gesture. In a Los Angeles Times article, Kevin McGehee, Chad Watson's brother-in-law, said the band's publicist approached the family members about paying for the funeral.
"But they didn't want any publicity. They are a humble, Christian band, and they just heard about the fire on the news and wanted to help," McGehee said.
Even on the band’s Facebook page, the only indications of the act come from fans' comments on posts unrelated to the incident. Commenters left notes of admiration and respect on updates about the Super Bowl and the band's upcoming appearance on The Voice.
“I think you are all amazing! Not only for your music but for giving back. Paying for the funerals of the 9 who lost their lives in the fire it gives me hope that there are generous and amazing people still out there. I know you have taken a large burden off of the surviving family! God Bless you all!” Reannon McVicker wrote on a post of the band performing at the NFL Tailgate Party before the Super Bowl.
In an AP release posted on ABC News, the pastor of the church the family attended, Tim Burden, shared that the family was struggling financially. Chad Watson worked a paper route in the morning before going on to a construction job. Insurance for funerals was not something the family had planned.
“They have nothing,” Burden said in the article.
The church Burden acts as pastor over, Calvary Baptist Church, was an important place for the religious family. It hosted a vigil for the family the day after the fire.
“Calvary Baptist Church, where the vigil was held, is the same church where Nikki and Chad met, fell in love, got married and eventually began bringing their family to worship every Sunday,” wrote WLKY.com, a local Louisville news source.
The band, which has roots in Christian music, could have also been motivated by its members' faith. In an interview with Lehigh Valley Music, lead singer Kimberly Perry shared how the band’s faith has influenced its journey in the entertainment industry.1 comment on this story
“I really feel like we all are put on the planet for a very specific purpose, and I think that the good Lord certainly put this in our hearts to do. We’re entertainers; that’s what we were born to be. And I really feel songs for us are more than just 3½ minutes of music; it’s really our way of communicating.”
The family created a Facebook page for updates on Kylie and Chad and fundraising efforts.